8th February 2021, 6pm – 9.30pm

Dates for Upcoming events included in the Annual Pass:
Monday 8th February 2021
Monday 22nd February 2021
Monday 8th March 2021
Tuesday 9th March 2021 – Special on Woodford
Tuesday 16th March 2021 – Gold Part 2
Monday 22nd March 2021
Monday 12th April 2021
Monday 26th April 2021
Monday 10th May 2021
Monday 24th May 2021

Programme

Gamechanger – React 

Following React’s presentation, here the Q&As:

Hello who are your major customers?

We provided several examples during the presentation, which we hope you saw, so this question may no longer be relevant. In summary our major customers are amongst some of the largest facilities management firms (FM) in the UK, if not globally, a small number of NHS Trusts, Tier 1 customers in the Rail & Highways industry, a small number of large housing associations, two medium-sized multi-site care home operators & several local municipal authorities or councils.

What contracts have you won since your final report?

We have won several small to medium-sized contracts since the end of the period to 30 September 2020.  No one contract has been material enough to announce, however together they help to maintain momentum in our growth.

Do you have any major institutional shareholders?

Yes, these were highlighted during the Monday evening ‘game changer’ event, the slide is copied here:

 

In addition, we have other institutional shareholders who are below the notifiable level. Shareholder information can be viewed in the Investor Relations section of our website, which is updated as and when it changes.  Please follow this link & scroll down the page to the shareholder information section: React Group PLC | REAT | React Specialist Cleaning (reactsc.co.uk)

 

Your website says contacts during normal office hours. to achieve your response within 4 hrs, where is your emergency number?

We have just one telephone number 01283 550 503, although there is also a 0800 freephone number appearing in some of our marketing that also dials through to this same telephone line.  It is answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days of the year.  During normal office hours 08:00-18:00hrs it is answered by someone in the Emergency Response support team, outside these hours it is answered by our out-of-hours Emergency Response team.  Both teams have the same responsibility; to professionally answer calls and to rapidly mobilise the right resources to provide the support required by our Customers.

What is your staff turnover rate?

Very low.  REACT has very good levels of colleague retention for the industry.

Where are your staff based?

Head office, where our administration & support colleagues work, is in Swadlincote, near Derby.  We also have a small, serviced office in Eastbourne where our inside-sales colleagues are based.  Operational colleagues live throughout mainland Great Britain with on-call specialist operators strategically dispersed to provide the coverage required, whereas cleaning operators on contract maintenance work, live local to their workplace.

Do you have regional offices to provide a nationwide service which you offer?

No.  Please see the answer to the question above; REACT’s head office is in Swadlincote, Derbyshire and we have a small satellite inside-sales office in Eastbourne.

‘React is leading this process’.  Please expand on this which indicates taking over other companies.

The process we refer to here is the ‘consolidation of supply chains’ amongst some of REACT’s largest customers.  This is an opportunity for greater focus by us on account management, cross-selling and upselling our services to customers.

Congratulations on profitable growth figures.  Which have been the main growth areas?

This question was answered during the presentation.  Highest growth during the period was in our Contract Maintenance business and in the smaller Ad Hoc business.  The following slide provides the detail:

Where can we see Allenby’s assessment please?

On the Allenby website, to view please click here: http://www.allenbycapital.com/research/research-REAT.html

Is contract maintenance your area where competitive differentiation is lowest and is it likely to make a lower relative margin contribution going forward?

Yes, although as you can see from the margins per sector the difference in margins is modest.  The trade-off is the value of relatively fixed long-term recurring revenue.

Does it bring the highest cost base as you need to build internal full-time resource more to service it?

No.  The operating cost overheads can in some circumstances be lower than needed to support the emergency response teams that operate when called upon at any time of the day and night.

How do you grow/manage your team to support increased volume of ad hoc and reactive jobs? Reliance on outsourcing?

We covered this during the presentation and again during the Q&A session.  In summary we will carry on growing our internal resources at a viable pace to ensure we do not carry under-utilised resources and balance this with the progressive, high-quality partner network we have put in place (and continue to evolve) to provide reach, range, and scalability of services.

How much will admin expense grow with top line?

In the business model we have established administration expense will grow much slower than top line revenue and perhaps more importantly, much slower than gross profit contribution.  We are beginning to demonstrate the operational gearing available in the business through our broker forecasts, to see these please go to the Allenby website here: http://www.allenbycapital.com/research/research-REAT.html

2020 is a watershed point whereby you’ve fixed the old React and now look for new direction? Given that guidance for 2021 (4mths in) is underwhelming given 2020’s platform and the fact that despite remaining COVID-19 problems we have normalised more and can see ahead? What’s holding you back?

We believe at this time it is right to remain prudent when setting expectations and how these flow into our broker’s forecasts. 

Good brand name.  Have you had positive response to that from customers, and using it when approaching potential new customers?

Yes, we have had a number of enquiries from both new and existing customers as a result of our efforts to promote the brand values of REACT.  We believe there is much more we can do however, to increase awareness and develop business potential, and have actions to continue these efforts for the foreseeable future.

The quality of your business offering is very much dependent upon the quality of staff you recruit. How do you find the right people with the right attitude and skills? How does your pay compare with the market?

REACT has a recognisable employee-brand and one that continues to attract unsolicited enquiries from people wishing to work with us.  We continue to evolve the employee proposition and brand to support our growth ambitions.

We answered the question relating to pay during the Q&A session.  In summary, pay for REACT specialist cleaners is in the upper quartile of the industry.

I assume most specialist cleaners are artisan/lifestyle businesses with low propensity to scale up their work/productivity. Does this give you a problem in terms of relying on them to scale your business in next couple of years?

We answered this during the Q&A session; the businesses we are partnering come in various sizes from very small to mid-sized firms typically specialising in one or two areas of our portfolio of services and a discrete geography in the UK.  They all pass through a formal process to validate their capability, train, and certify their skills.  We only work with businesses with the same ethos as ourselves, are motivated to perform for Customers delivering the quality standards required.

What is the attraction of working for REACT – the work sounds challenging? How easy is it attract new (reliable) employees? Is staff turnover a significant?

Please refer to previous answers to similar question/s.

Of your total turnover, what % relies on n say top 5 / top 10 customers.

Our top 10 Customers represents c.70% of our sales revenue and c.60% of our gross profit contribution.  As announced at in our annual report for the year ending 30 September 2020, the dependency on the top 10 Customers has reduced during the period.  This trend is designed to continue as we expand services and revenue with other large Customers in our portfolio.

Can you explain how you service 140 customers, and provide a 4-hr response time, with only 80 employees?

We answered this question during the Q&A.  In summary, we balance work executed by our employed colleagues with support from our Partner network.  Because of the nature of our business, not all 140 Customers will be using our service at any one time, in fact a proportion of these will only use REACT on the odd occasion there is an emergency.

How possible is it grow top line significantly over the next 5 years using 3rd party specialist cleaners? Will you need to take them in-house more and train your own? What the cost/infrastructure consequences of that? How does it impact the growth versus margin development of business?

We answered this question during the Q&A and have provided some answers earlier in this Q&A regarding the use of the partner network.  In summary; Growth of Contract Maintenance business does not create too great a challenge.  This business is serviced by employed resource; the winning of new business typically provides time to recruit, train and mobilise resources, and often TUPE – Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) regulations – provides a ready supply of resources to be retrained and supervised to REACT standards.

The challenge comes in growing the capacity to support Contract Reactive business & Ad Hoc.  We believe the time and effort we have invested in developing our Partner network provides REACT with the opportunity to meet sudden surges in demand whilst at the same time steadily expand employed resources to meet sustainable demand.  Balance is key as we continue to evolve, and we believe REACT is well positioned to maintain this balance successfully.

Will you be conducting another share issue? Your dilution has increased significantly over the last 5 years.

This management team has only been in place for the last c.2-years and during this period have carried out just one fund raise, in June 2020, at a share price of 1.5p per share.  This provided net proceeds of c.£1.1m.  The reason for doing this was to invest in growth and strengthen the balance sheet to help REACT engage and win large customer business, this has worked well, and we have used these funds efficiently.

During the Q&A we answered the question about future funding and specifically covered the potential of future fund raises.  In summary; as at 30 September 2020 REACT had c.£1.8m of net cash and has continued to be cash generative in the current financial year resulting in a healthy balance sheet with no debt.  We have a facility for invoice discounting, which is currently not being used, but can be rapidly called upon.  We therefore do not see any requirement for an equity raise to support our current organic growth ambitions.

Carefully targeted acquisitions are also a part of our growth strategy.  We believe the size and type of acquisition we are most likely to consider first is one we can complete in a structured transaction using the cash resources already in place without, we hope, the need for institutional debt or an equity raise.

How do I become a certified partner? (No, I personally don’t want to at this point in time.  In the meantime, I will stay as an existing and so very interested.

shareholder!)

Not sure what the question is here?  Sorry.  Thank you though for being a shareholder, we will continue to focus on growing the value of your holding.

Can we please get a copy of this presentation? Is it on the website?

Yes, it is available on the Mello website

How will you balance your growth without a big debt increase?

We answered this question during the Q&A and also in the answer to previous questions above.

What is the total size of market you are in?

Please refer to the answer to similar questions asked elsewhere in this Q&A

How can you ensure that you have the capacity to deal (within 4hours) with several urgent request arriving simultaneously?

We answered this question during the Q&A and also in the answer to previous questions above.

Good Afternoon. Great presentation. Do you require any immediate funding to continue your growth i.e., is there any imminent raise required?

Thank you.  We answered the question regarding immediate funding during the Q&A and also in the answer to previous questions above.  In summary, we see no requirement for an imminent fund raise.

As a business how do you manage the unpredictability of reactive work in terms of the workforce available and workflow.

We answered this question during the Q&A and also in the answer to previous questions above.  The answer lies in the balanced use of our certified Partner network as we scale our team of employed resources at a viable pace.

As it’s such a fragmented market, are you thinking of adding any similar companies by acquisition or being in danger of being taken over yourselves?

We answered this question during the Q&A and also in answers to previous questions above.  In summary, we have a carefully considered acquisition strategy.  We aim to scale the business and suspect at some point we will reach a size and prominence that becomes an attractive acquisition target for a larger business aiming to access this part of the market.  This could be one of the large janitorial cleaning businesses or a Facilities Management firm (FM).

 

You have mentioned several times that the business need to restructure.  What have been the most important things that have been changed in the last two years?

We answered this question during the Q&A.  In summary, the administration and support services were not previously fit for purpose nor were the sales and account management functions.  These were the key areas that this management team rebuilt alongside focusing the business on the specialist cleaning sector (it was previously focused on two other markets) and developing/marketing the brand.

Who do you think are your biggest competitors in this space?

There are lots of firms, with some of the larger ones strong in specific sectors and/or geographies rather than across the whole specialist cleaning market.

The big cleaning firms like Rentokil, Initial, Mitie, PHS, OCS, may have strength in a specific sector, (e.g., Rentokil are strong in pest control, PHS in hygiene services, etc.), however they typically subcontract much of the other specialist work we see as our core business.

At present we have not identified any one dominant force in the specialist cleaning sector and therefore believe it to be a legitimate objective for REACT.

You talked about how you had built revenue with a number of clients over the last couple of years but are there any instances where things are trending the other way (less revenue or clients going elsewhere altogether) – if so, would be grateful to any insight as to why that might be the case.

We answered this during the Q&A session.  In summary, we moved away from some unprofitable customer relationships in the year ending September 2019, since then we have not lost any material customer relationships.

Some sectors are finding it more difficult in getting staff – particularly as some EU citizens have gone back to their home countries. Can you provide some colour on staffing and wage inflation?

We answered this question during the Q&A.

In summary; a significant number of our staff are from the EU and as they were employed prior to 31 December 2020, are legally able to continue working for the group.  We are encouraging them all to ensure they have either pre-settled or settled status.  We plan to continue to recruit from a variety of nationalities, subject to the restrictions which now apply, given that most of our roles will not be deemed as “skilled” occupations.   To date, we have experienced no difficulty in recruiting new staff and have found that we have had a large pool of applicants for all positions advertised. We pay our operating staff at market rates or higher appropriate to their individual roles, have a line management structure in place and will offer progression wherever possible.  We review pay rates for all staff at least annually

Following Brexit, and potential restrictions on immigration, do you envisage any difficulties in recruiting enough operatives to fulfil your growth ambitions?

We answered this question during the Q&A and also in the answer to the previous question above.

As new business is coming online, do you have the staff to cope with the additional demand.

We answered this question during the Q&A and also in the answers to previous questions above.  In summary, yes, using a combination of hiring and training new employed resources at a viable pace coupled with the balanced use of our growing Partner network.

What is the share ownership of management?

We answered this question during the Q&A.  Every director, including the non-executive directors, have recently purchased shares in the Company, as announced in December 2020.  The total amount of shares owned is modest, however the directors and management have a significant amount of skin in the game.  The salary profile of the executives is modest, some of this was sacrificed in favour of long-term incentives (LTIP), specifically an EMI scheme and warrants, which is material and meaningful.  The targets for LTIPs are exclusively based on share price hurdles and are therefore entirely aligned with shareholder interests.

How many operatives are employees and how many are subcontractors?

During the period to 30 September 2020, on average, we employed 70 – 75 cleaning operatives.  We worked with approximately 10 certified Partners (subcontractors), most of whom have their own employee teams.

How big is the target market in £m’s and what is your market share?

We do not yet have a clear fix on this, we just know it is many times larger than the market we are currently servicing and provides tremendous opportunity for growth.

To provide some tangible component to this we believe that amongst REACT’s 25-30 (of the existing c.140) customers with significant potential, the average spend in mainland UK on specialist cleaning services is between £2m-£7m each per year, i.e., somewhere between c.£50m – c.£200m of spend.  This includes specialist contract maintenance business, some of which may be at slightly lower margins.  What this figure does not include is the business available outside of our existing Customer base, especially in attractive segments such as healthcare, rail, highways, education, aviation, shipping, life sciences, to name just a few.

Our market share is therefore small, yet we are one of the larger firms operating successfully in the sector, which has hundreds if not thousands of operators.

How much of your business comes from your partner network?  How do you expect that to change over the next 2/3 years?

Roughly 20% of the Contract Reactive and Ah Hoc business is performed by the Partner network.  This ebb and flows as demand peaks and troughs through various stages of growth.  At the moment this appears to be the right balance for the future, although if circumstances change, so too might the ratio.

What is your geographical split of business?  Again, what changes do you expect in the next 2/3 years?

Our business is predominantly coming from England and Wales, with a small amount currently in Scotland.  In the next 2/3 years we wish to see this balanced across all three mainland countries in line with the economic potential from the sectors we service in each geography.

Are there any plans for M&A and acquiring specialist operators?

We answered this question during the Q&A and also in the answer to previous questions above.

What is the impact of Brexit on labour availability?

We answered this question during the Q&A and also in the answer to previous questions above.

With COVID-19 having impacted train service usage, have you seen a knock-on levelling off of demand?

We answered this question during the Q&A.  In summary; no, not so far.  REACT is not involved with the regular in station cleaning you might see when a train reaches its destination, this we suspect has declined as train services have reduced.  REACT provide the periodic heavy deep cleaning required to bring trains and their carriages up to the required standard – this work has continued at the same pace as before lockdown and appears so far unaffected.  REACT also provide the cleaning of graffiti from trains and structures and the cleaning of trains and carriages after fatalities and train strikes.  Sadly, this has not declined during lockdown either.

How do you juggle partner system with 4 hr / 24 hr response service?

We answered this question during the Q&A and also in the answer to previous questions above.

Right, so you use ‘partners’. How many of your competitors would they typically work for? Where does your competitive edge come from if using subbies?

REACT’s Partner network is part of our value-add and commercial proposition.  Alongside our own employed resource, which accounts for c.80% of the work performed, the Partner network enables REACT to commit to customers a high-quality standard of performance, delivered anywhere in mainland Great Britain within a response time of <4-hours.

Whilst some of our Partners may carry out subcontract work for other firms our aim is to capture mindshare and have them prioritise REACT over others.  To make this happen we provide training, certification, and co-branding to REACT standards, provide them with regular work at price points agreed in advance and a positive feedback process via audit and review to continuously improve the performance and mutual benefits from our commercial relationship, i.e., a committed ‘team’ approach.

This represents the difference between sub-contracting, which is commonplace in the industry and a partner network.  The strength of relationship comes from how hard we work at it and how well the Partner earns from it.  There are many other examples of how partner networks in other industry sectors become dominated by specific brands that work hard to develop a mutually beneficial business relationship, REACT aim to do the same in the specialist cleaning industry.

To achieve this requires a deliberate approach and an investment of time and resource.  Competitors will have to find the best resources, something we have been working on for two years and still have a fair amount of room for improvement.  Of the hundreds of potential candidates out there, our experience is that only a very few are committed and/or good enough; it takes time and practice to evaluate this.  Once found, their capability needs to be properly verified/certified and/or trained and they need to be provided regular work to keep them interested.  A feedback and audit process needs putting in place, alongside regular dialogue, and encouragement.

This all takes time, effort, and expertise to get right.  This is what REACT have been building over the last 18-months and will continue, hopefully leaving others to catch up, but only once they have recognised the importance of getting it right.

Does React have an aim in say the next 3-5 years?

Yes, to be the outright leader in the UK specialist cleaning market, of a scale, quality, and financial performance to make us an attractive acquisition target for a much larger business from a sector wishing to access opportunity in the specialist cleaning sector.

Can you talk a little about exec remuneration – how has this been structured to align interests with shareholders?

We answered this question during the Q&A and also in the answer to previous questions above.

Guidance for 2021 (4mths in and 18% sales growth) is underwhelming given 2020’s platform and the fact that despite remaining COVID-19 problems we have normalised more and can see ahead?

Please refer to the answer to previous questions above.

Your share price has risen 20% today, how do you expect to behave after day? Is it due to your presentation today and yesterday?

We are not best placed to answer this question, sorry.  We remain focused on sustainably improving shareholder value through the performance of the business and hope that as evidence of this is presented through results and news flow the market recognises this value appropriately.

You haven’t answered the question (which you read out) about what is your share of the specialist cleaning market?

We are sorry if we did not complete the answer to this question during the Q&A.  We hopefully have answered it in the answer to previous questions above.

What size do you expect the company to be in 5-years’ time?

We can only speak of ambition; our ambition in 5 years’ time is to be the leading specialist cleaning business in the UK.  Based on what we know today, this is likely to mean a business of greater than £50m revenues of which we would hope >80% will be recurring, at that point growing at c.15-20% per year and generating operating profit margins of c.15%.  As the market evolves and supply chains consolidate these figures may appear less ambitious, however based on our current knowledge this appears to be a reasonable ambition.

Please note these numbers are not forecasts or expectations given we are talking about a 5-year time horizon and the numbers are estimates based on what REACT envisage would be required for us, or indeed any other business, to become the leading specialist cleaning business in the UK.

 

SCS – Trading Update and Meet the new CEO, Steve Carson

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.

Following the presentation at Mello, here are the unanswered questions with answers

What is the split between online and in store sales through the last 12 monts

Online accounted for 7% of our total sales in the 12 months to July 20, we expect this to exceed 10% in the current financial year

Where are the sofas made? uk?

For the 12 months to July 20, UK 57.3%, Far East 39.4% and Europe 3.3%

Who are your major shareholders, please? Unlike many companies, your website does not provide this information.

This is detailed in our Annual Report, in the Directors report, page 76

is the cash you have sitting there actually owed to suppliers.

As at July 20, we had £82.3m on the balance sheet, £20.6m was due to suppliers and customer deposits amounted to £34.6m

You pay45 days after getting the cash in and as such is the cash actually not the companies.

See comment above

How can you feel a carpet via the web. You have to visit the store. Surely this stuff about online shopping in your industry is nonsense? 
We offer samples of carpets for customers who are happy to buy online, as you will see from our trading updates during the pandemic, a lot of our customers do want to visit the stores as the product we sell is tactile in nature
PS I just bought a pair of trainers online. The same size and make as my old pair – no need to visit a store. Different strokes for different folks.

Have you had any issues with manufacturing during covid. Getting materials, fabric, foam? If so how has this affected business?

We have seen delays due to the supply of foam, shipping issues and some factories have been disrupted by outbreaks of COVID. Since September 2020, we have been quoting longer lead times to customers and talking to them frequently to manage expectations. This issue has been seen by the whole market

Is cost of service online higher than in store?

No real difference

Do you see any increased trends towards environmentally aware products, perhaps using recycled polyester in fabrics and fillings?

This is something we are exploring but no real customer change to date. We introduced a carpet made from recycled ocean plastic last year.

Hello, have you used any of the government support schemes during Covid, please and are they included in your financial reporting?

We have disclosed, and will continue to disclose the value of this support in our half year and year end reporting, please see page 29 of our annual report or slide 9 from our preliminary results presentation

How much furlough cash have you taken?  Will you look to repay it back?  And what is your monthly cash burn during lockdown?

The value of furlough claimed in the 12 months to July 2020 was £5.0m, it is not the Board’s intention to repay this. We have claimed furlough during the latest lockdown, depending on when we reopen and how we trade we may repay this.

Do you anticipate a significant fall in rents on renewals? How would that look?

Nothing significant at the moment, we are seeing some rent reductions on the retail parks but increases in our distribution units. With the increased empty space on the UK’s retail parks we may see some rent reductions in the coming years

How will SCS grow EPS? For the last 4 years, it has never gone higher than 25p/s. Surely ad spend from TV to online?

Under IAS17 EPS was 30.3p in the year ending July 2019, an increase of 16.5p (120%) on the EPS achieved in the year to July 2015.

‘@Steven Carson – How likely is it you would open channels between SCS and Argos/Sainsburys considering your experience

Five weeks into the new role, I am still building my understanding of the key strengths of the business. As the handover progresses over the next quarter one of the key outcomes is to create a refreshed strategy which will consider all opportunities available to the group.

Interview with David Hornsby – Executive Chairman at Ideagen  

David Hornsby was appointed Executive Chairman in 2018, having previously served as Chief Executive since 2009. As Chief Executive, David led Ideagen through a period of rapid growth and now is responsible for the company’s medium and long-term growth plans. His particular areas of focus include Group strategy, Mergers, and Acquisitions and Investor Relations.

David has over 25 years’ experience in the technology sector and prior to Ideagen, held a number of senior management positions in both UK and US-based software companies including Smart Workforce Management Plc, Parametric Technology Corporation, and Profund Systems Limited.

This Monday we are joined on the show by a top performing CEO of a company that Mello conference regulars will know exceptionally well….There is absolutely no doubt that over the past 15 years David Hornsby of Ideagen has been one of the most successful leaders and entrepreneurs that the AIM growth company market and before that on Plus Markets has seen… Indeed the growth has been amazing as it has gone from being a sub million pound tiddler on Plus to the nearly £750 million market cap that Ideagen is today.

Any investors that could see the investment case and had confidence in the company David was trying to build when he presented at Mello Central in 2011 and Mello Beckenham in early 2012 would now be at least 25 times the richer.
 
David is sadly saying goodbye and moving into retirement however we are sure there is still another chapter still to be penned and David will share the next inevitable entrepreneurial journey with Mello viewers and also reveal how he sets about delivering amazing returns for investors…

Gamechangers – which company is transforming this month?

The next in our series of “Gamechangers” – An introduction to a company that has had a transformational announcement which may not have been fully understood by investors. The company will not be pre-announced beforehand but leading investors and directors talk us through the company gamechanger. 

AQSE: new opportunities 

Alasdair is the founder and CEO of Aquis Exchange PLC. The Company, which is listed on AIM, is a leading exchange services group. It operates a pan-European MTF business (Aquis Exchange) covering stocks from 14 European countries and also develops and licenses exchange software and services to third parties (Aquis Technologies). In March 2020, Aquis acquired the primary listings business NEX Exchanged and rebranded it Aquis Stock Exchange (AQSE).

Alasdair is the former CEO of Chi-X Europe and was responsible for growing the business into Europe’s largest equities exchange and into profitability before its sale in late 2011. Prior to that, he spent 11 years heading up ITG’s international business, pioneering the introduction of electronic trading and crossing into the European and Asian marketplaces. Alasdair began his 30 plus-year career in the City with Morgan Grenfell and has held senior positions at a number of investment banks including HSBC and UBS.

The Aquis stockmarket…What does it offer investors?

This session focuses on what Aquis offers to individual investors and how to access its market.  Aquis will also showcase a number of stocks that have performed well recently.

Company Presentation – AdEpt Technology Group plc

Established in 2003, AdEPT are an award-winning managed services and telecommunications provider with a mission of ‘uniting technology, inspiring people’. AdEPT offer proven and uncomplicated technology solutions to over 12,000 customers across the UK, including schools, hospitals, local and central government, and businesses of all shapes and sizes.

In a world where there is simply too much technology to choose from, AdEPT uses expertise and strategic partnerships with the likes of Dell, Google, Microsoft, Avaya and Ericsson-LG to ensure customers get the right solution to their individual requirements, not just an off the shelf option. By specialising in converging IT, unified communications and connectivity into an all-encompassing solution, AdEPT allows its customers to focus on what matters – running their organisation, rather than weathering technical concerns or obstacles.

With a staff of over 300, AdEPT has the depth and breadth of expertise to deliver, whilst still being able to care for its individual customers, which proudly include Great Ormond St, Coca-Cola, The Office Group, The London Grid for Learning, the House of Parliament and more.  To discuss your technology wants and desires with someone who will genuinely work to help, please don’t hesitate to get in touch – enquiries@adept.co.uk

John Swaite, CFO – John joined AdEPT in March 2008 as Group financial controller and was promoted to finance director and the Board in January 2009. Prior to joining AdEPT, John spent more than nine years with one of the UK’s leading accounting firms. In his role as senior corporate finance manager, John was responsible for all aspects of financial due diligence and transaction support on mergers, acquisitions, flotations and subsequent public offerings.

Over a 20 year career Phil has headed businesses within Xchanging, SSP, Sirius and Logica (formerly CMG). He has extensive and highly relevant experience of IT outsourcing and enterprise software, having led companies that deployed global, complex, mission critical solutions. Born in Cambridge and an Electronic Engineering graduate of Nottingham University, in 2000 Phil was awarded an MBA from Henley Management College. Phil was appointed to the Board as chief executive on 1 January 2019.

Following the presentation at Mello, here are the unanswered questions with answers

Would it be possible for you to provide PI’s with forecasts – From my research I can find no forecasts for ADT at all  

We will be providing details of how to see the research note being published by the Company’s Nominated Adviser & Broker on a forthcoming Trading Update.

What do you believe are your key advantages versus your principal competitors?

Our competitive edge arises from a combination of factors.  Our expertise, our ability to bring together a number of different products to build a solution, our straightforward engagement, our experience in similar situations, our focus on flawless execution and our people. 

 

VectorVest – Low risk investing for consistent growth and income 

About VectorVest

VectorVest is the only stock analysis and portfolio management system that analyzes, ranks and graphs over 16,500 stocks each day for value, safety and timing and gives a clear buy, sell or hold rating on every stock every day.  VectorVest now comes complete with the UK, USA, CA, AU and all of Europe databases.  

VectorVest gives you ANSWERS, not just data. What to buy. What to sell. Most importantly, WHEN. Unbiased, independent answers. Investment guidance provided at a glance or through your own analysis.

MelloBASH (Buy, Avoid, Sell, Hold)

Kevin Taylor Private Investor

Kevin began his City career 27 years ago, training as an actuary with a focus on defined benefit pension schemes. In 1997 he moved over to Investment Banking and joined a structured finance team working on complex projects and debt finance for large corporates. During those 27 years of financial markets experience Kevin has been a keen small cap investor looking after his family’s portfolios and trading on both the long and the short side of markets. Kevin is one of the more sceptical member of our panel and likes to see proof that demonstrate management’s claims before investing in a management team.

Alan Charlton Private Investor

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.”

Bruce Packard Private Investor

Bruce has a degree in Theology from Durham University and passed all 3 CFA exams.  He now writes a weekly commentary for Sharepad / Sharescope and invests his own money. In his spare time, he owns a craft beer bar in Berlin (Kaschk), plays beach volleyball.

Bruce covered UK banks as a sell side research analyst from 2000-2013 working for various investment banks and stockbrokers (eg Credit Suisse, Société Générale, Seymour Pierce) before that management consultancy.  Some of his published UK bank research is available here https://brucepackard.com/research

Paul Scott Private Investor

I trained as an accountant with a Top 5 firm, but that was so boring that I spent too much time in the 1990s being a disco bunny, and busting moves on the dancefloor, and chilling out with mates back at either my house or theirs, and having a lot of fun!

Then spent 8 years as FD for a ladieswear retail chain called “Pilot”, leaving on great terms in 2002 – having been a key player in growing the business 10 fold. If the truth be told, I partied pretty hard at the weekends too, so bank reconciliations on Monday mornings were more luck than judgement!! But they were always correct.