Andrew Dixon is an investor, founder of ARC InterCapital, and founding trustee of The Woodhaven Trust.
Starting his career in banking at Société Générale and Goldman Sachs, Andrew has spent more than two decades investing in micro, small and medium-sized businesses. Through ARC InterCapital, he has invested £20 million in more than 40 British companies.
In 2008, he founded The Woodhaven Trust to support initiatives that provide offenders and ex-offenders with pathways into employment and self-employment. The Trust has gone on to support causes that champion progressive tax reform and teach leadership skills to young people. Read more about Andrew Dixon’s work with The Woodhaven Trust →
In 2020, Andrew founded Fairer Share, a national initiative campaigning for the abolition of Council Tax and Stamp Duty and the introduction of a Proportional Property Tax.
Founded by Andrew in 2000, ARC InterCapital has invested more than £20 million in start-ups and early-stage businesses, and its current portfolio collectively employs more than 1,500 people across the UK.
ARC InterCapital invests in companies with clear, easy-to-understand business concepts and the potential to realise meaningful earnings growth in five to ten years. An active investor, Andrew works closely with the portfolio companies’ CEOs, management and sales teams, providing them with practical, strategic guidance on their business strategy and expansion.
Through ARC InterCapital, Andrew has invested in businesses across a wide range of sectors including biotech, semiconductor, health, education, utilities, leisure, publishing, software and entertainment. He is drawn to companies with energetic, cohesive teams led by committed, ethical and visionary management, and those startups that demonstrate a capacity for fresh thinking in challenging sectors.
Many investments in its portfolio have gone on to become well-recognised brands. For example, ARC was the first seed investor in Gamesys, which went on to become one of the most successful businesses in the online gaming space and, in 2006, was the UK’s fastest-growing private technology company in The Sunday Times Tech Track 100. In 2015, Toronto-listed Intertain Group acquired Gamesys’ UK operations in a £426-million deal. JPJ Group plc went on to complete the acquisition of the wider Gamesys business in a deal valued at £490 million in 2019 to form LSE-listed Gamesys Group plc.
Others companies have seen rapid growth in niche sectors, such as call answering service Cymphony and LIVE IT, the global online ticketing platform for live events. Since 2010, Andrew has served as Chairman of Infinitesima, the Abingdon-based high-tech firm that developed the Rapid Probe Microscope for the semiconductor industry.
Before founding ARC InterCapital, Andrew Dixon was Vice President of the Precious Metals Division at Goldman Sachs, responsible for advising gold producers, end-users, central banks and investors across the Asian region on appropriate commodity derivative hedging strategies. He cut his teeth in finance at Société Générale in Tokyo and Sydney.
As part of the Japanese Government’s JET Programme, Andrew started his career as an English teacher at a high school in Shizuoka Prefecture, before going on to work in London and Tokyo in corporate relations for the Institute for Development of Economic Analysis (IDEA).
He graduated from Aberystwyth University in 1991 with a degree in International Politics, and holds an Executive MBA from London Business School. He lives with his wife and two daughters in Surrey, and enjoys cricket, golf and the occasional glass of wine.
Q&A: Andrew Dixon
What do you look for in an investment?
Truly good businesses are relatively rare, and I’ve always had pretty strict guidelines that I’ve resisted straying away from. I’ve always looked for businesses that blend an enduring competitive advantage, a simple concept, and a clear pathway to higher earnings and profits in five, 10 or 20 years.
What makes a successful team behind a business?
I look for strong, effective teams. Management teams need to have high levels of dedication to their business; this will help them weather the inevitable periods of challenge while their business is growing. They also need how to work together as a team and, although it sounds a little bit cliché, they need to show that they are able to constantly think ahead; they are able to spot how business and technology is changing, and spot the new opportunities that that offers.
What makes a successful investor?
Successful investors are always aligned with the founders they invest in; everyone needs to be pulling in the same direction. The investor-founder relationship should be built on a foundation of trust, mutual respect and support. At the same time, investors are able to provide an outside set of eyes, offering new ideas, seeing how things can be improved and providing constructive feedback.