By late 1990, during the UK’s economic recession, Rutland’s central management team recognised that they could achieve superior investment returns by applying their operating and management expertise to underperforming businesses across a broad range of industries. This strategy needed to be largely self-funding; therefore, the Trust exited the majority of its former service business activities and began to use the capital proceeds to position itself as a special situations investor.
During the 1990’s, the central team deployed themselves in interim executive roles in many of the Trust’s portfolio companies to develop and drive strategic turnaround plans. In doing so, they established a reputation as successful hands-on investors, gained substantial operational and portfolio company management skills and developed a broad network of deal sourcing contacts.
On the back of this successful track record, which included investments such as Thamesport, Ben Shaws and Castle Music, Rutland evolved into a private equity model, raising its first such Fund of £210m in 2000. This first Fund delivered good returns and saw the business develop its brand and intermediary networks.
The investment team was expanded and a second Fund of £320m in 2007 saw a significant widening of the LP investor base. In 2008, the team moved its headquarters to its current offices in Regent Street. Rutland Partners is currently investing its third Fund of £263m which was raised in 2014. Its private equity Funds have made a total of 25 investments between 2000 and 2017, deploying over £600m in investor capital.
Michael Langdon was formerly a Partner at Price Waterhouse where his professional work included investigative, consultancy, reconstruction and corporate finance roles for large multinational clients. In 1986, he left to lead the reverse takeover of the quoted shell company that subsequently become Rutland Trust.
From his position as Chief Executive of the PLC, Michael was instrumental in assembling the initial central management team and in the development and execution of the firm’s strategic progress since then. After the evolution into a private equity Fund in 2000, Michael assumed the role of Chairman of Rutland Partners, which he held until his retirement at the end of 2017 at the age of 69 after over 30 years with Rutland.