‘Understanding when you can help and when you just need to let the company and management team get on with it,’ says Tim Mills, the investment director of Angel CoFund and British Business Bank, when Spear’s asks him what makes a good angel investor.
Mills should know — he has been making new investments for most of his career, although as a major player since 2008 when he led Capital For Enterprise.
‘Good angel investors also know when to roll their sleeves up and get involved, to offer moral support and direction in the face of adversity, or tough love in the form a clear critique borne of their experience, and when is the right time for either,’ he says, noting that bad ones simply plunge in and are disruptive to teams. That’s a word to the wise, angels.
Mills also involves himself in village life in the Peak District in his spare time, too. ‘I often think the long term and nurturing approach we need to take with our investments isn’t so different from the way the best landowners manage their property,’ he says.