Martin has been involved in the financial services sector for more than 30 years. He was a founder and senior partner of Phoenix Securities, becoming chairman of European investment banking for Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (DLJ) following the acquisition of Phoenix by DLJ. He was subsequently a founder of New Star Asset Management and has a number of other directorships and business interests, including chairmanship of Worldwide Healthcare Trust and GP Bullhound and directorship of Oxford Capital Partners

His pro-bono interests include serving as chairman of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and serving on the boards of a number of other arts organisations including the Royal Academy of Music, the Glyndebourne Arts Trust and the Science Museum Foundation. He chaired the English National Opera and is a governor of the Ditchley Foundation. In 2008, his family founded the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at Oxford University. In 2013, he received a knighthood in the New Year’s Honours List for services to the arts, education and science.