Pall Mall Partners - TeamMichael Bauer
In 1986 I came to the UK, determined to get into investment banking in the Anglo Saxon business world. I was right out of university in Germany where I had read Law, but realized I would not have the patience to make a good legal professional.
A very English investment bank named County NatWest Securities gave me my first job in their Equities division, where I learned from some of the industries’ most professional individuals at a most exciting time. At CNWS I was given my first opportunity to start building a client service team for European institutional clients.
With this experience, in 1990 I moved on to one of the leading British investment banks, Barclays deZoete Wedd, where I worked again in a highly respected and ranked Equity division.
Even after a very exciting and successful time at BZW, I left the firm in 1996 as a Director of BZW Securities Ltd. Something pulled me back to my roots. I knew it was time to leave investment banking and realize my dream of becoming an entrepreneur myself. I hail from a family of “Mittelstandsentrepreneurs” in Germany, so I guess it is fair to say, it was inevitable. My father had done the same, as had my grandfathers… and so on.
I subsequently joined Pall Mall Capital, a private equity firm I had co-founded in 1990 with a university friend while still at BZW. After a short while at PMC it became apparent that what I had in mind as a business (i.e. a mutual fund and VC investment company) needed a more extensive financial services infrastructure than PMC had at the time.
I was able to convince a few of my former colleagues to join me in my new endeavour and in 1998 Pall Mall Partners Ltd. was born!
With the signing up of a fixed income specialist from Schroeders in 1999, the firm quickly became one of the pioneers of the then emerging European High Yield Bond Market and in June of 1999, PMP launched one of Europe’s first High Yield mutual funds.
In 2000, I extended PMP’s scope of business to include Venture Capital. There were two reasons for this: no correlation of VC with the HY asset class, i.e. risk diversification; and a real passion for VC on my part.
With the burst of the technology-bubble in 2000, a number of VCs had left the scene and the arena was wide open for new players with long-term aspirations.
Mark Rayner and I met in the mid 1990s in Cambridge in the fledgling VC scene. Mark joined me in 2000 and we established the VC division at PMP. Together with Ted Hayton, who had also worked in the Cambridge technology and VC scene, we formed the nucleus of what is today PMP. In 2002, we closed our first fund – Pall Mall Technology Ventures.
The Directors of PMP’s High Yield division proposed a management buy-out of their division in 2006. In April 2007 I divested this business, which at the time of sale had established itself as one of the industry leaders in this field with total assets under management of about Euro 700 million.
The ‘new’ Pall Mall Partners is exclusively focused on Venture Capital and has specialized in spotting the ‘opportunity’.
At PMP my main responsibilities are the overall strategy of the firm, CRM and direct involvement with a number of our investee companies.
When not thinking about or working on another opportunity for PMP, I love to be outdoors. My other interests include modern art, design and architecture, wine and cars.