Speakers and Panelists

Judith MacKenzie

Judith is a Partner of Downing LLP and an investor in UK Smaller Companies. Judith has been investing and involved in Small Cap for over 20 years, having been a Co-Fund Manager of the Aberdeen Asset Growth Capital Venture Capital Trusts and Partner at Acuity Capital, the buy-out of Small Company Funds from Electra Partners. Judith is Head of Public Equities, and is Manager of the flagship and award winning Micro-cap fund, MI Downing Micro Cap Growth, and the Downing Strategic Micro Cap Investment Trust. The philosophy that Judith applies to investment in UK micro cap investments is conviction led, bottom up and more akin to a private equity investment process than traditional fund management

Lord John Lee

Politician, Writer and Investor John Lee was born in 1942 and educated at William Hulme’s Grammar School in Manchester. He entered the House of Lords in 2006 and sits on the Liberal Democrat benches. He is Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Tourism Group. Lord Lee is a company director, investor and financial journalist. He is the Chairman of Wellington Market Plc and a non-executive Director of Emerson Developments (Holdings).

Stephen Yiu

Chief Investment Officer at Blue Whale Capital and Lead Manager of the Blue Whale Growth Fund. Stephen co-founded Blue Whale Capital with Peter Hargreaves, co-founder of Hargreaves Lansdown, in 2016. The Blue Whale Growth Fund was launched in September 2017 with £25m in seed capital and is a long-only global equity fund focusing on developed markets. Stephen adopts a high conviction, active approach based on bottom-up, fundamental research. Since launch, the Fund has delivered net annualised return in excess of 15%. It is one of the top-performing funds in the IA Global sector and is presently ranked #2 since inception. Assets under management recently surpassed £210m. Stephen started his career at Hargreaves Lansdown before working with Tim Steer as a co-manager at New Star Asset Management (now Janus Henderson) and Artemis Investment Management. Most recently, Stephen worked under Martin Taylor and Nick Barnes at Nevsky Capital, a global long-short equity hedge fund.

Graeme Neary

Full-time investor and independent analyst. Editor at Cube Investments, small-cap writer at Stockopedia. Previously a fixed income analyst in the City and institutional fund manager. Also, a CFA charterholder and has the Investment Management Certificate and STA Diploma in Technical Analysis. When not talking about finance, he enjoys recreational poker, chess and Mandarin Chinese.

Andy Parson

Head of Investments & Product Proposition At the helm of our investment research & product propositions team is Andy Parsons. Andy is also co-manager of The Share Centre’s top performing multi-manager funds. Andy joined The Share Centre in 2006 as a fully-qualified financial adviser and has over 30 years financial services industry experience.

Gervais Williams

Managing Director of Miton Group and manages the Diverse Income Trust alongside the Miton UK Multi Cap Income Fund and Miton UK Smaller Companies Fund Gervais Williams joined Miton Group plc in 2011. He manages a number of funds and trusts that aggregate to over £1.5bn. He is also Senior Executive Director at Miton Group plc. His fund management career extends over 30 years including 17 years at Gartmore Group Ltd, where he was head of UK Small Companies investing in UK smaller companies and Irish equities. Gervais is a member of the AIM Advisory Council, chairman of the Quoted Companies Alliance and a board member of The Investment Association. He is also on the EU Taskforce reviewing why the number of smaller IPOs has declined over recent decades. Gervais Williams published his first book 'Slow Finance' in the autumn of 2011, and his second book 'The Future is Small' was published in November 2014. His most recent book 'The Retreat of Globalisation' was published in December 2016. Gervais was awarded Fund Manager of the Year 2014 by What Investment.

John Stepek

John Stepek is the executive editor of MoneyWeek and writes the daily investment email, Money Morning. John graduated from Strathclyde University in 1996 with a degree in psychology, and went straight into a career writing about business and finance. In 2003 he took a job on the finance desk of Teletext, where he spent two years covering the markets and breaking financial news. John joined MoneyWeek in 2005. His work has been published in The Sunday Times and The Spectator among others. His book on con trarian investing, The Sceptical Investor, was published by Harriman House in March this year.

Gareth Powell

Gareth joined Polar Capital in 2007 to set up the Healthcare team. Prior to Polar Capital, Gareth worked at Framlington, where he began his career in investment management in 1999. Soon afterwards, he began working on the Framlington Health Fund and in 2004 he became fund manager of the Framlington Biotech Fund, which he managed from 2004 until his departure. Gareth studied biochemistry at Oxford, during which time he worked at Yamanouchi, a leading Japanese pharmaceutical company (later to become Astellas). Gareth graduated with an MBiochem in Biochemistry from the University of Oxford and is a CFA Charterholder.

Jonathan Davis

Jonathan Davis has been analysing and writing about financial markets for more than 30 years, initially as a financial journalist (on The Times, Sunday Telegraph and Independent) and more recently as an independent author, columnist (Independent, Financial Times and Spectator) and professional investor. Editor of the annual Investment Trusts Handbook and the author of three books on investment, Jonathan is also a Member of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment and an adviser to the wealth management firm Saunderson House. He holds a professional qualification in private client investment management and sits as a non-executive director of an investment trust. His website is

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