Mike Marlin was not always Mike Marlin (the man drenched in water to your right).
He was Michael Adam – one of London’s most successful hedge fund managers. He wore suits and read graphs.
But Marlin has ditched finance to pursue his real dream – reviving a music career he abandoned after college, the Scotsman reports.
In the 1970s, Marlin dropped out of a physics degree at Oxford; landed a job writing computer code; and then launched his own firm, meg-quant fund AHL, with some fellow Oxford buddies.
AHL went on to basically pioneer the use of computer software to predict market trends in commodities trading; Man Group bought the copmany in 1994, and it boasts an AUM of $20 billion today.
As the co-creator of computer software that predicted market trends, he enjoyed a glamorous, jet-set lifestyle, owning an expensive art collection and a string of international homes.
Now the 49-year-old from Ayrshire is more likely to be found in the back of a run-down van with a group of struggling musicians half his age, starting from scratch as he attempts to launch a belated musical career.
At Oxford, Marlin was a bass player in a band, but that’s pretty much where the music died; he never considered actually making a career out of strumming a guitar, he just really liked to do it – and by the time 1982 rolled around, and none of the bands he joined had made it, he decided to follow a different path.
He replaced his guitar, his 4 track cassette machine and Elvis Costello records with computers. His website bio says he was “rescued by technology” after battling depression and alcoholism.
In fact, this is how he describes himself, in third-person, on his site:
“He became obsessed with computers when most people thought they were magic. He wrote code in the day and songs at night. The code worked and people bought it. But the music remained unheard. For the next 20 five years Mike was a geek with a secret hobby. He spent a lot of time in the basement.
Finally, in 2009, Marlin had a lucky encounter. He met a music producer who listened to some of his songs – Marlin apparently sings with a gravelly baritone – and it turns out, he was actually good.
This week, Mike Marlin will play his first show in Glasgow. He’s feeling pretty confident.
“I was bloody good at what I did before and I am taking all those skills and applying them to music,” he told the Scotsman, adding, “I’m not going to arrive in a limo at the Hilton while the band is in a van. I’m in the van with them, lugging the gear.”
NOW WATCH: Money & Markets videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.