60 Seconds With James Newman

Q: What’s your role at perfORM?

Co-Founder and Co-Head, alongside Quentin Thom. I oversee all delivery, services management, team and our ODD ‘brain’. perfORM is an ODD solutions provider with 100+ years of collective ODD practitioner experience.


Q: When did you become an ODD’er?

Back in the mid 2000’s when I set up and ran the ODD function at a London based fund of funds. Vetoing Madoff in 2008 both cemented my interest in, and belief of, the need for robust ODD.


Q: Why did you set up perfORM?

Quentin and I had discussed the idea many years prior to launching, but in late 2019 the stars aligned just as the gap in the market was at its widest.


Q: Any noteworthy mega red flags spotted?

We were twice asked to review FTX. Both times we raised red flags and understand neither commissioning client appointed the exchange as a result of our feedback and experience. 


Q: What do you think makes a good ODD’er?

A combination of an inquisitive / investigative nature, ability to know and distinguish what operational controls and procedures apply across different investment strategies, and an ability to identify what bad looks like and challenge. 


Q: Why do you think perfORM is different and who does it compete against?

We are one of, if not the only, UK-headquartered and practitioner-led dedicated ODD providers. With team also in Geneva and NYC, we are engaged alongside, or instead of, established investment consultants and due diligence providers, due to our expertise, flexibility, availability and cost.


Q: What is perfORM’s relationship with JTC?

Back in late 2021, Quentin and I agreed to turn perfORM into a wholly owned subsidiary company of JTC. It’s fantastic to have the backing of a FTSE 250 PLC whilst operating as a separate corporate structure, team and systems.


Q: How’s 2024 looking so far?

Busy with both existing and new clients who are highly active. In many ways, our incredible variety of ODD engagements is akin to us all working out in the ODD gym. It is literally a full body workout and that leads to great benefits for our ‘ODD brain’ and for client outcomes. 


Q: What do you do to unwind?

Making the most of my free time with friends and family which usually involves an activity or experience of some kind. Time is precious and live life to the full!