Philip-Moritz Russmeyer, Class of 1995

Philip-Moritz Russmeyer, Class of 1995

Current Profession: Founder and CEO at FITFILE

University Attended: MA Economics – The University of Cambridge

MBA – Harvard Business School


Philip, please tell us more about your life after GIS 

I have been so fortunate in all the wonderful experiences and opportunities that I’ve had during life after GIS! After finishing my A’Levels at Shrewsbury School in Shropshire, UK, I was accepted onto the “Year in Industry” scheme and worked in the Scenario Planning team for the Global Committee of Managing Directors at Royal Dutch Shell. It was the best possible start to my career since I was lucky enough to work with experienced, talented and friendly professionals who encouraged me to stretch into anything that I could possibly handle.

Following Shell, I started my Economics degree at St John’s College, Cambridge. Here I threw myself into rowing, student politics and theatre productions, and I always made sure to spend even more time with friends (very often late into the night…) than the many hours I studied!

I focused my job search on investment banking after learning about that from friends and recent Cambridge leavers, and following an internship with UBS, I accepted an Analyst job with Morgan Stanley in London – where I worked unbelievably hard but also got a really strong grounding in accounting, finance, management and commerce, which has stood me in good stead ever since. I decided that I wanted to formalise my understanding of business with a Master in Business Administration and really enjoyed the 2-year program at Harvard Business School in the US. Because I like finance and business, a career in private equity made perfect sense, so I joined Goldman Sachs Capital Partners, where I supported large-cap investments such as ISS and Kion. However, the Global Financial Crisis, a trend towards growth equity and my natural interest in entrepreneurship led me to join the founding team of Vitruvian Partners.  Here I was delighted to do whatever I could to help build the firm into one of the global leaders in private equity.

Along the way, I found that the global healthcare space sorely needs better technology to access, privacy treat and link data that is too often stored in silos, so I founded and have been building a company called FITFILE which has a globally unique technology to deliver the safest, fastest and best record-level health data for research, planning and care. I am really excited and feel fulfilled about the contributions we’ve already made to help everyone live longer, healthier, and hopefully happier lives through the superior insights we’re helping to generate. 

Oh, and last but DEFINITELY not least, I have been blessed by a beautiful family; my wife Sophie, 3 lovely children and some much-loved pets…


What was memorable about your time at GIS?

Thinking back almost 30 years (!), my fond (if slightly hazy…) memories are framed by a cosy campus nestled into the Cheras hills. Whilst we had a playing field quite impressively suspended over that hillside, with views stretching far into the distance, I suspect our rudimentary canteen, old-fashioned library, green screen computer room, and rickety wooden chairs would seem quite alien to GIS students living it up in Mont Kiara today. We didn’t have a pool on our doorstep; the school had to borrow such luxuries, often a long and sweaty bus ride away.

What’s really memorable against this backdrop, though, were two aspects of critical importance to high-quality education.  

First, the devoted teachers. I distinctly recall a large number of seasoned and motivated professionals with a keen interest in fostering learning in curious minds, not only to ensure academic excellence but also to share and impart their passion for any subject, whether it be maths, science, history or art. I will never forget the utter disappointment of my art teacher when I had to choose physics instead!

Second, the driven students. Having joined from another international school, I was always amazed about how hard-working and relentlessly dedicated almost everyone was to their studies and extra-curricular activities. We had lots of fun, but we also got lots of things done.

It seems these aspects remain a fundamental part of what continues to make GIS so special today.


What is the most important thing you learned while you were at GIS?

That we are in charge of our own destinies, and that we should never stop trying to take the best possible path forward – no matter what’s happened before.


How did GIS prepare you to succeed in the world at large?

The combination of truly devoted teachers and driven students allowed me to learn what I needed to know academically, to confirm that hard work is always worthwhile, and to understand that it’s our attitude towards achievement, in any situation, which is the key ingredient to creating and enjoying high performance, results-oriented environments.


What does ’success’ mean to you? What does it mean to you to be the BEST?

To me, success means achieving something that truly matters not just for the self but which also has a positive impact on the world around us. 

I have striven all my life to be the best at anything I do. Being the best means playing to one’s strengths, forever tackling one’s weaknesses, focusing on results that beat expectations and never, ever giving up!

What advice would you give current students or recent graduates interested in pursuing a career in your professional field? 

It’s never too early to get practical real-world experience, however short or limited it may be – so get what you can.

Then draw on this experience, talk to others lots and really think about what matters to you before getting too stuck in any career that doesn’t feel right – it’s not so important what anyone else thinks your career should be if you do what you truly love you will do best and have a happy life.


Thank you, Philip, for taking the time and sharing your experiences with us.

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