Meet The Team 29/10/2019
A minute with...David Appleton
Over the coming weeks we'll be giving you some insight into one of our fantastic colleagues here at Cornelian. This week we chatted to David Appleton, Investment Director.
What makes you get out of bed in the morning?
My two children Lily (7) & Rudy (5)have insane energy and I try to bottle a bit of that when the alarm goes off in the morning and I initially feel like a grumpy old man. Their unbridled enthusiasm is infectious and I try to incorporate some of that joie de vivre in my daily life. My job is a genuine passion and it is a privilege to do it, so I need to have a stern word with myself if I don’t attack the day with enthusiasm.
What is your favourite thing about working at Cornelian?
I would say it is the culture. As an employee-owned business, I believe we have developed together a really positive culture that genuinely puts the clients first. The flat structure and team-based ethos has enabled me to make a tangible impact on lots of different aspects of the business such as new product design, business development and marketing, as well as being at the coal face of making investment decisions every day. We have a great team of people and it is exciting to be part of building products and services we are passionate about and believe can compete head to head with the ‘big beasts’ of the industry.
What do you enjoy doing when you are not at work?
Messing around in my attic playing electric guitars and listening to music (rock and heavy metal mainly) is one of my favourite things to do to relax when at home. I also go to see gigs all the time in Glasgow where I live. The city has an unbelievable array of live venues and there are always great bands coming through town. I am a big sports fan, so watching Glasgow Warriors play rugby or seeing folk beat each other up in imaginative ways in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (“UFC”) on BT Sport is good fun. I also genuinely enjoy hanging out with my wife and kids, which is lucky.
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Definitely a rock star. Music was a huge passion for me during my teenage years and I spent hours and hours learning how to play along on guitar to my favourite bands. Looking back, the 1990s was an amazing time for guitar music. The Grunge bands from Seattle such as Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden and Pearl Jam sounded totally different to anything else that had gone before and really resonated with angsty teenagers like me. You also had the likes of Metallica, Megadeth, Guns N ‘Roses, Faith No More, Green Day, Rage Against The Machine, Weezer, the Smashing Pumpkins and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers all putting out seminal records, and in the UK there was the Britpop thing going on with Blur and Oasis. Great times.
Who would you most like to swap places with for a day?
Easy. It would be James Hetfield, frontman of Metallica, on the joint headlining tour with Guns N Roses in 1992. What a time that must have been! Metallica had released the Black Album, which is probably the most successful heavy metal record of all time, and they were touring with Guns N Roses when they were at their most crazy, with Axl Rose jumping into the crowd to fight people and causing riots. Axl was wearing tight lycra shorts, a white leather biker jacket and red bandana, but somehow still looked cool! Being a fly on the wall during that tour would have been amazing. Metallica also got to play the Freddie Mercury tribute concert at around that time, which would have been a very special experience.
Where would you like to go on holiday if you had a month off and money was no object?
I’d probably go back to Tanzania where we spent our honeymoon. Even though it was pretty scary at times (we got charged by an elephant in camp within the first five minutes of arriving), I totally fell in love with the safari experience and would love to do it again.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Be confident in yourself and grab every opportunity you can.
If you could invite anyone, which 3 people would you invite to dinner?
First up is Joe Rogan, the US comic and podcaster. I listen to Joe’s podcast every week and he has met so many interesting people on the show. I’d love to pick his brain on some of his most thought-provoking conversations. He is also a hilarious guy in his own right with a really positive attitude and is a commentator on the UFC.
Second I would go for Jimmy Page, the guitarist from Led Zeppelin. Zeppelin were a phenomenon in the 1970s and led a pretty debauched lifestyle, while also putting out some of the most iconic music of all time. Jimmy is a big inspiration to me as a guitar player and I’d love to hear his stories.
Finally I would invite Jordan Peterson, the Canadian clinical psychologist and author. He has some really interesting views that sometimes are controversial but I find really insightful. He would be a great foil to the other guests as he would ask searching questions and steer the conversation in unexpected directions.