The Archangels’ Share
Scottish Field Book Review by Lewis Blythe | 13 March 2018
by Kenny Kemp, Graham Lironi and Peter Shakeshaft
What’s the story?
The book tells the tale of Archangels, a business angel syndicate founded in Edinburgh in 1992 by Barry Sealey and Mike Rutterford. It follows their story of leading the way in terms of investing in new promising businesses and helping make them successful. The book follows the pair through ups and down and also looks at and examines the relationship between and at times almost reads like a novel with Sealey and Rutterford our main characters, bravely going into the unknown of the business world.
Despite the subject matter of The Archangels Share being quite specialist, the book is surprisingly easy to just pick up and read. The writing style flows rather well and the decision to focus in on the characters involved makes the story it is trying to tell much more relatable than if it were simply talking about companies investing in and buying other companies. The book also does a great job of establishing these characters by giving the reader background information on them, making them come across like fully formed people rather than names on a page. It is also largely free of Jargon or insider terms, making it a much less intimidating read than other books with similar subject matter, giving it a much more approachable feel.
Despite its accessibility in terms of the writing style, the subject of the book is probably slightly too niche for those who do not already have an interest in the business world, there simply isn’t enough intrigue to draw in the casual reader. As well as this, the tone of the book is perhaps overly congratulatory of Rutterford and Sealey. The Archangels Share continually speaks of all these fantastic investments and the business genius of the pair, almost as if they can do no wrong with their failures or shortcomings almost brushed over at times.
This book is definitely more for those who already have an interest in business and investment, the subject matter may prove to be too dry for anyone looking for a casual read. For those with an interest in the field however, it does provide a fascinating look into a unique way of investing and could prove to have a few tips for those looking to do some investing of their own.
Read a chapter here: ArchangelsShare_extract
Overall, The Archangels Share provides an insight into a niche part of Scottish business history, with a fascinating relationship between two very different people at the heart of it. The approachable language used also makes it an enjoyable read, one that stands apart from other business books.