Tom Cole


Tom Cole, Managing Director for UK & Europe at Abacus Group, a leading managed services provider (“MSP”) to alternative investment firms, oversees the company’s UK operation and European-based employees. Since joining Abacus Group in June 2016, Cole has reshaped its IT and cybersecurity approach, focusing on client satisfaction and security, which are both pivotal to the group's ongoing success. Since becoming UK and Europe managing director, Cole has been instrumental in helping Abacus Group deliver best-in-class service, evidenced by a consistently high net promoter score (NPS). Cole’s relentless pursuit of excellence in client service has solidified Abacus Group's position as a preferred IT and cybersecurity provider for both startups and established funds in the alternative investment space, further underlining the influence he has had. Cole’s leadership style has evolved over the years, reflecting the changing landscape of the investment industry and technology. While participation management, which encourages open discussion and idea sharing, has been a consistent theme, Cole has transitioned from ‘wearing many hats’ to focusing on strategy as Abacus Group’s team has become more accomplished. This evolution reflects the maturation of the organisation under his guidance into an enterprise widely associated with service provision excellence. It’s fair to say Cole has rapidly established a much-merited reputation as a visionary leader with a strong sense for how the industry will evolve over time. Looking ahead, Cole sees no reason for cybersecurity to stop being a top-three risk to businesses anytime soon, with increased scrutiny from investors and regulators anticipated. As threats become more sophisticated, regulators will push for more robust standards and auditing to set higher benchmarks. Cole highlights the growing significance of human security as the weakest link in the cybersecurity chain. He also anticipates that emerging innovations in technology will uncover shadow IT, requiring IT leadership to gain a deeper understanding of data consumption and user-driven technological advancements. Another pride point for Cole is his efforts to ensure Abacus maintains low staff attrition. It’s a key performance indicator (KPI) that reflects a positive working environment and a team invested in the company's success. Cole’s dedication to staff progression and internal promotion further exemplifies his commitment to nurturing talent within the organisation and enabling it to reach its full potential. Cole’s first worked as an infrastructure engineer at Glencore and then Balyasny Asset Management (BAM). His career reached a pivotal moment when he assumed the role of Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at COMAC Capital (Europe) Ltd, a multibillion global macro hedge fund. As CTO, Cole led technology strategy and cybersecurity, which were crucial in safeguarding the fund's infrastructure. While working at COMAC, Cole decided to hone his knowledge of and skills in Information Systems Management, ultimately achieving a Distinction in his MSc studies from the University of Liverpool. Subsequently, he joined iNebula as the Head of Technology. In this role, which he held for over two years before moving to Abacus Group, Cole continued to showcase his ability to lead and innovate, further cementing his reputation as a forward-thinking technologist in the financial services industry. Cole’s contributions to the industry extends beyond his Abacus achievements. His active participation in industry events and webinars, such as the Bloomberg Hedge Fund Start-Up Conference and Cybersecurity Month, showcases his commitment to the industry. Cole also maintains a strong focus on community engagement and charitable initiatives. His involvement with The Winchester Group, a networking organisation within the alternative fund management industry, demonstrates his commitment to giving back. The group facilitates industry-leading networking events and raises funds for various charitable causes. Over the long-term, Cole remains resolute in his commitment to delivering exceptional client service and promoting a more secure approach to business. His vision for Abacus Group is to lead the charge in providing top-tier IT and cybersecurity services while focusing on client satisfaction and security. Cole remains laser-focused on continuing to provide a platform for the Abacus team to reach their potential and grow their careers. Like restaurants that gain Michelin stars, he is well aware that attaining a high level of customer satisfaction is one piece of the puzzle, while maintaining it is quite another. Looking ahead, his ambition is to continue working with his exceptional cyber-security colleagues at Abacus, while continuing to evolve the company’s services and offering to keep clients secure. He is also committed to staying hungry to learn and embrace change and technological advancements in order to continually improve. In conclusion, Cole’s journey from technology enthusiast to visionary leader in the alternative investment industry's service provision sector highlights his dedication and expertise and have earned him a well-deserved place among the Top 100 Most Influential People in Service Provision for Alternative Investment Firms in 2024.