Monday 21st June 2021, 6pm – 9.30pm

Interview with Fund Manager, Stephen English

Stephen is an Investment Director at Stellar Asset Management, responsible for running their AIM IHT fund. He believes in trying to give back to the investor community, having delivered keynote addresses at past Mello conferences.

He joined Stellar in September 2020, having previously worked at Blankstone Sington since 2002, where an early grounding on the dealing desk paved the way for a fascination with markets, how the ‘invisible hand’ of supply and demand could move prices and how efficient dealing can add value.

With a fast-growing reputation as an independent thinker, his musings are regularly featured in the press, including What Investment, Professional Advisor and MoneyWeek. Investment is one of the purest and most rewarding endeavours in Stephen’s opinion and he is a firm believer in giving back to an industry he is so passionate about. With an irreverent style yet with deep thoughtfulness and humility.

Stephen is a CFA Charterholder, a devoted Warrington Rugby League fan and a wide-ranging reader.

Company Presentation – Time Finance

Time Finance’s strategy is to focus on providing or arranging the finance that UK SMEs require to fund their businesses and arranging vehicle and property-backed finance for consumers. The multi-product range for SMEs includes asset, vehicle, loan and invoice finance facilities. The Group operates a “hybrid” lending and broking model enabling it to optimize business levels through market and economic cycles.

Ed Rimmer, CEO

Time Finance plc announced that Ed Rimmer has been confirmed as permanent Group CEO with effect from 1 June 2021.

Having previously been COO of the Company, Mr Rimmer was reappointed as Interim Group CEO three months ago. He is a widely experienced senior executive with a strong commercial, financial and operational track record in financial services for over 25 years. He was previously UK CEO of Bibby Financial services, rapidly building the business and doubling its profits to become the largest independent operator in the invoice finance market.

Alan Charlton interviews Nabil Lawandy, Spectra Systems

Spectra Systems is an established world leader in providing security technology that includes software and advanced materials for use in banknotes, product authentication, and gaming.

Spectra provides integrated solutions comprised of engineered materials for authentication and hardware and software systems which verify the unique signatures of the authentication materials.  Through a series of strategic supply and licensing agreements with governmental, and corporate partners, we have become industry leaders in the currency and document authentication markets, and one of the world’s leading suppliers of high-speed currency authentication sensors.

Spectra’s solutions are also used for authenticating and tracking well-established consumer branded products such as energy drinks, shampoo, wine, spirits, and tobacco. Our security software provides secure Internal Control Systems to U.S. and international lotteries.

Dr. Nabil Lawandy received a PhD in Chemical Physics from the Johns Hopkins University in 1980. Dr. Lawandy worked in the Laser Technology Branch at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center from 1977-1980 on submillimeter lasers for Astronomy, culminating in the mapping of CO2 in the Orion Nebulae at the Mauna Kea telescope in Hawaii. In 1981 he joined the faculty at Brown University where his work focused on instabilities in single and multimode lasers, optically encoded second harmonic generation in glasses, novel laser fabrication methods for nano and micro-optics, inhibition of spontaneous emission in a 3D photonic lattice of self-organized colloidal crystals, laser action in a 3D FCC structure, and high gain Random Laser action. The latter work created a major resurgence of interest in this area and has since grown into a major field in modern optical interactions.
Dr. Lawandy left Brown in 1998 and became the founder and CEO of Spectra Systems Corporation where he has developed novel authentication technologies used by over twenty central banks, the world’s first banknote cleaning technology using supercritical CO2, and most recently, the first machine readable polymer banknote substrates and a machine for the deactivation of Covid-19 on banknotes. During his years at Brown University in the Division of Engineering and Department of Physics and since his transition to business, Professor Lawandy published over 180 papers in peer reviewed journals and mentored nineteen PhD students through a combination of funding sources. Dr. Lawandy has founded three companies and in July of 2011, he and the Spectra Systems management team successfully floated Spectra Systems on the AIM segment of the London Stock Exchange.
Dr. Lawandy holds over 100 published US and international patents in a number of applications spanning optical materials, authentication technologies, and devices. Dr. Lawandy is an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow, a recipient of a Cottrell Award, the Presidential Young Investigator Award, the Slater Foundation Innovation Award, and the Rolex Prize for his work on using Random Lasers.

I am a Full Time Professional Investor, having enjoyed a 30 year career working  the Retail Industry, and been a Director of many well know High Street names. I have been fortunate to work directly for some of the greatest Retailers of the last generation, including Lord Kirkham, Sir Philip Green (interesting experience!!) and Sir Stuart Rose. Fortunate to have learned from some of the very best.  I post occasionally on message boards as “Simso”…going right back to PaulyPiliots Pub and the old Motley Fool days! Current investment strategy is specifically focussed on stocks which benefit from the current environment.”

Company Presentation – Strategic Equity Capital

Strategic Equity Capital plc (SEC) is a London-listed investment trust investing predominately in small cap UK equities. SEC is managed by Gresham House, a UK listed specialist investment manager.

The investment objective of the Company is to achieve absolute returns (i.e. growth in the value of investments) rather than relative returns (i.e. attempting to outperform selected indices) over a medium-term period, principally through capital growth.

SEC listed on the London Stock Exchange on 19 July 2005. The Trust is a concentrated portfolio of 15-25 high conviction holdings with prospects for attractive absolute returns over the long term. The majority of portfolio value is likely to be concentrated in the top 10-15 holdings with other positions representing potential “springboard” investments where we are still undertaking due diligence or awaiting a catalyst to increase our stake to an influential, strategic level.

Ken Wotton, Managing Director, Public Equity

Ken Wotton is Managing Director, Public Equity, at Gresham House. He leads the investment team managing public equity investments and is lead manager for Strategic Equity Capital plc

He also manages the LF Gresham House UK Micro Cap Fund, LF Gresham House UK Multi Cap Income Fund, and manages AIM listed portfolios on behalf of the Baronsmead VCTs.

Ken graduated from Brasenose College, Oxford, before qualifying as a Chartered Accountant with KPMG. He started his career as an equity research analyst with Commerzbank and then Evolution Securities prior to spending the past 12 years as a Fund Manager at Livingbridge and now Gresham House specialising in smaller companies.

MelloBASH (Buy, Avoid, Sell, Hold)

Kevin Taylor Professional Private Investor.

Kevin is a full-time professional Investor and a part-time business consultant.  He began his City career in 1993, training as an actuary with a focus on defined benefit pension schemes. In 1997 he moved over to Investment Banking, joining a structured finance team that developed bespoke financial solutions, and provided debt finance, for large corporates. Kevin has always been a keen small cap investor looking after his family’s portfolios and trading on both the long and the short side of markets. He is one of the more sceptical panel members and likes to see proof that demonstrates management’s claims before investing in a management team.

Richard Crow Professional Private Investor

After starting life as a milkman and ending up paralysed after a motorbike accident @ 19 years old, Richard started investing in 1982. Mainly punting penny shares and buying unit trusts all went quite well until the 1987 Black Monday Crash where he lost a third of his investments. Undeterred he returned to investing several years later and had good success in the tech boom, selling out early before most of the tech rout. Thereafter, he started investing and trading, mainly in small caps finding many multi-baggers and much greater success. He now runs a very restricted private chatroom 270 or so members where members discuss the stock news of the day and stock merits and opinions, together with chat and banter re life, gardening, photography and more.

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