22nd March 2021, 6pm – 9.30pm

Dates for Upcoming events included in the Annual Pass:

Monday 12th April 2021
Monday 26th April 2021
Monday 10th May 2021
Monday 24th May 2021
Monday 7th June 2021
Monday 21st June 2021
Monday 19th July 2021

Programme for the evening

6 pm Mello Welcome and News
6.10 pm Charles Montanaro presents on The Montanaro UK Smaller Companies IT (MUSCIT)
6.40 pm Company presentation by SCS Group
7.20 pm David Stredder interviews Amati Fund Managers Anna Macdonald and Paul Jourdan
7.50 pm Company presentation by Fintel plc
8.10 pm The power of negative thinking: Interpreting RNS’s and company news with Alun @MrContrarian
8.30 pm MelloBASH –  Melwin Mehta, Mark Simpson, Richard Crow @cockneyrebel, companies covered to be confirmed

Montanaro Asset Management is a specialist boutique focused entirely on Small & MidCap equities. Launched in 1991, by Charles Montanaro, we now manage £4bn of assets for our clients. With a team of 34, including 11 research analysts, we believe we have the largest team purely dedicated to Small & MidCap in the City. We are “quality growth” investors which, put simply, means we try to invest in companies that are growing, profitable, have a sustainable competitive advantage and above all are run by experienced and high quality management teams . We are not economists, strategists or traders. Instead, we aim to get to know our companies inside out and hold for the long term.

The Montanaro UK Smaller Companies Investment Trust (or “MUSCIT”) was launched in 1995 and is therefore one of our very first products and very dear to us. At launch MUSCIT was one of around 30 UK SmallCap Investment Trusts and one of only eight to have survived to 2021. Managed by Charles Montanaro, MUSCIT offers exposure to a portfolio of high quality and growing UK Smaller Companies.

Charles Montanaro is an anthropologist by training and has visited remote tribes across the world for decades. With his wife, Jane, he established Tribal Survival in 2014 to provide aid to endangered tribes, particularly the Korowai Tribe in West Papua.

In his spare time, Charles likes to search for undiscovered tribes in remote jungles and is an avid supporter of Arsenal FC.

Charles MONTANARO: Chairman/Fund Manager

After graduating from the University of Durham in 1976 with a BA in Anthropology, Charles spent the first four years of his career in industry before joining Merrill Lynch in 1980 as a private client broker in London.  He joined Dean Witter Reynolds in 1984 and Drexel Burnham Lambert in 1987 as a Senior Vice President, joining the high-yield bond department in 1989.  In 1990, Charles joined MMG Patricof (now Apax Partners) as a Director of investment banking working with UK smaller companies both public and private.

Charles founded Montanaro in August 1991 to specialise in analysing and investing in quoted smaller companies.  He has since launched and managed several funds and established a strong track record. Charles manages our UK Income Fund, MUSCIT and is Co-Fund Manager of the Better World Fund. 


David Stredder interviews Amati Fund managers Anna Macdonald and Paul Jourdan

Anna Macdonald – Fund Manager

Anna Macdonald (previously Croze) is an experienced fund manager specialising in UK equities. Anna began her career as an analyst and fund manager at Henderson Global Investors in London, where she co-managed the core enhanced UK equity product, and the UK Equity Market Neutral hedge fund. At Henderson she was an analyst on the media sector. After some time living in Kenya, as head of research for Old Mutual Asset Management, she returned to the UK and worked at Threadneedle Investors in London before moving to Edinburgh. Anna joined the Amati team in 2018 from Adam and Company, where she led research for the PAM-award winning wealth manager. She brings her expertise running the successful AIM-listed portfolio service to Amati as well as a breadth of experience in managing substantial OEICs, private client and charity portfolios. She has been a CFA Charterholder since 2003.

Dr Paul Jourdan – CEO

Dr Paul Jourdan co-founded Amati Global Investors following the management buyout of Noble Fund Managers from Noble Group in January 2010, having joined Noble in 2007 as Head of Equities. His fund management career began in 1998 with Stewart Ivory, where he gained experience in UK, emerging market, and global equities. In 2000, Stewart Ivory was taken over by First State and Paul became manager of what is now TB Amati UK Smaller Companies Fund. In 2004, he was appointed Head of UK Equities at First State. In early 2005, he launched Amati VCT plc and he also manages Amati VCT 2 after the investment management contract moved to Amati Global Investors in 2010 (In 2018 Amati VCT merged into Amati VCT 2 which was then renamed Amati AIM VCT). Prior to 1998, Paul worked as a professional violinist, including a four-year period with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. He currently serves as a Director of Sistema Scotland and Clean Trade, both of which are UK registered charities.

Company Presentation – SCS Group plc

Steve has joined the furniture retailer SCS for a handover period ahead of current chief executive David Knight’s planned retirement in July.  Carson left Holland & Barrett in January, nine months after he was promoted to the role of group managing director.

Other career highlights include a number of roles at Home Retail Group, which once owned Argos, Habitat and Homebase.  Carson latterly served as director of retail and customer operations and a board member from 2014-2018, during which Home Retail Group was acquired by Sainsbury’s – where Steve had begun his career.

Join us to ask Steve questions about the future direction of SCS.

Steve Carson, new CEO at SCS

ScS is one of the UK’s largest retailers of upholstered furniture and floorings, promoting itself as the “Sofa Carpet Specialist”, seeking to offer value and choice through a wide range of upholstered furniture and flooring products. The Group’s product range is designed to appeal to a broad customer base with a mid-market priced offering and is currently traded from 100 stores.  The Group’s upholstered furniture business specialises primarily in fabric and leather sofas and chairs. ScS sells a range of branded products which are not sold under registered trademarks and a range of branded products which are sold under registered trademarks owned by ScS (such as Endurance, Inspire and SiSi Italia). The Group also offers a range of third-party brands (which include La-Z-Boy and G Plan). The Group’s flooring business includes carpets, as well as laminate and vinyl flooring.

@MrContrarian – The power of negative thinking 

Interpreting an RNS and company news


Do you get confused or annoyed when reading an RNS because Key information is missing or the wording needs high level decoding? We have leading RNS deciphering expert, Alun Morris aka @MrContrarian with us to share his knowledge and give you an advantage when the news breaks….

Company Presentation – Fintel plc

Formerly known as The SimplyBiz Group, Fintel is the UK’s leading fintech and support services business, combining the largest provider of intermediary business support, SimplyBiz, and the leading research, ratings and fintech business, Defaqto. Fintel is the leading provider of digital, data led and expert services to product providers, intermediaries and consumers to help them navigate the increasingly complex world of retail financial services. Fintel provides technology, compliance and regulatory support to thousands of intermediary businesses, data and targeted distribution services to hundreds of product providers, and empowers millions of consumers to make better informed financial decisions.


Join us at 12pm on Tuesday 23rd March to hear a full hour presentation by Fintel plc. 

Matt Timmins

Matt joined SimplyBiz at its inception in 2002 as Marketing Director and was appointed Joint Managing Director of the Group in May 2010.

He now serves as Joint CEO of The SimplyBiz Group, responsible for the sales and marketing activities of the Group as well as key strategic relationships with both insurance and investment companies.

Matt runs several of the key subsidiaries within the business including SimplyBiz Services, SimplyBiz Mortgages, Gateway Surveyors, NMBA and SimplyBiz Support. Matt is also Chairman of Zest, the Group’s provider of SAAS technology for the auto enrolment and flexible benefits market.

Previous employment includes GE Capital, Misys and DBS Financial Management.

Neil Stevens

Neil joined SimplyBiz in 2003 as a consultant before being appointed Operations Director in 2004. From here, he led the acquisition of Compliance First, subsequently becoming the Managing Director of that business in 2007, a role he held until 2010 when he was appointed Joint Managing Director of the SimplyBiz Group.

Now Joint CEO of the Group, Neil has executive responsibility for compliance, operations and finance for The SimplyBiz Group.  He is also Chairman of Defaqto. 

Neil is passionate about bringing systems and technology to advisers, to enable them to deliver even more to clients, and is an advocate of advisers creating a ‘supply chain’ around their business and service.

Gareth Hague

Gareth joined SimplyBiz in 2016 as the Group Financial Controller, managing the finances of the Group, including key financial reporting, before becoming Group Finance Director in 2018. Prior to joining SimplyBiz, Gareth was Head of Financial Reporting at Pace plc, a FTSE 250 listed business, with annual turnover of $2.6bn. During his 5 years at Pace, Gareth built his experience of working in a listed environment, within a business that recovered from a difficult period, to its ultimate sale to a US Global Technology giant in January 2016.

Gareth spent 9 years at PwC, where he trained as a Chartered Accountant of the ICAEW. While at PwC, Gareth managed audit and transaction engagements for listed, private equity and private clients across a broad range of sizes and industries, giving him a breadth of knowledge and experience.

MelloBASH (Buy, Avoid, Sell, Hold)

Mark Simpson has been investing in individual stocks since 2003. Over the last decade Mark has generated a 19% compound annual return following a Value methodology vs a FTSE All-Share Total Return Index that has returned less than 8% over the same period. He has achieved this out-performance by developing a strategy that plays to his unique strengths and overcomes his weaknesses, in particular finding practical ways to overcome behavioural biases. His book Excellent Investing describes this approach and how investors of all types can generate higher and more consistent returns by developing their own strategy that plays to their strengths and overcomes their weaknesses.

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.