Lowestoft-born former banker believes Norwich furniture firm has bright online future

Matt Truman of True Capital at his office.

Matt Truman of True Capital at his office. - Credit: True Capital

A former high-flying banker has bought a Norfolk furniture store after seeing its e-commerce potential.

Private equity firm True Capital, which was co-founded by Lowestoft-born Matt Truman, acquired The Cotswold Furniture Company after pinpointing the company's digital growth potential.

Mr Truman, who is chief executive of True Capital, specialises in the retail sector having led the European retail divisions of both Lehman Brothers and JP Morgan.

And, using his retail knowledge, True Capital aims to invest in firms that are ahead of the curve when it comes to e-commerce.

Founded in 1996, The Cotswold Company, which has a turnover around £35m, sells oak, pine and painted furniture and accessories, and was acquired for an undisclosed sum.

Mr Truman said the firm's online performance was one of the main attractions.

He added: 'The reason we bought Cotswold is because it has a fantastic team built around the digital aspect, looking towards the future of the industry.'

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The furniture firm handles more than 100,000 orders every year from a ware-

house in Wednesbury, Staffordshire.

Alongside business partner Paul Cocker, Mr Truman cofounded True Capital as an investment vehicle in 2008 before the pair launched it full-time in 2013.

Mr Truman said: 'We had spent 15 years in banks advising the largest retailers in the world so we decided to set up a retail and consumer sector specialist business.'

They also launched True Start, an innovation hub with the aim of improving their investor knowledge as well as supporting new start-ups.

Mr Truman said: 'Paul and I nearly killed ourselves with the hours.

'It is early stages but really promising, we have got people investing. We have done about 30 deals on that side of our business now.'

Entrepreneurship runs in the family for Mr Truman, whose parents still live in Oulton, with his grandfather having helped found the Hovercraft company, which was bought by the government.

Have you invested in the region? Write to doug.faulkner@archant.co.uk

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