Keynotes & Panelists

The following Keynote Speakers and Panelists are due to speak at MelloVirtual - Investing in the New World

Peter Pereira Gray, Managing Partner and Chief Executive Officer of Investments, The Wellcome Trust

Peter Pereira Gray is Managing Partner and Chief Executive Officer of the Investment Division of the Wellcome Trust, where he has worked for over 18 years. Wellcome has a gross investment portfolio of some $35 billion, and has achieved a net investment return of 13.9 % p.a. since October 1985.
Peter is Chairman of Premier Marinas, the UK’s leading marina owner and operator and a main board director of iQ, one of the largest privately owned student housing owner operators in the UK.
Peter is also currently co-chair of the Institutional Investors Roundtable, a not for profit organisation funded by government, philanthropy and global institutions speaking for over $12 trillion of investment assets.

Judith MacKenzie, Partner, Downing LLP and Head of Public Equity, Downing LLP

Judith is a Partner of Downing LLP, 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.

Sir Martin Sorrell

Sir Martin Sorrell is Executive Chairman of S4 Capital plc, which is building a purely digital advertising and marketing services business for global, multinational, regional,
local clients and millennial-driven influencer brands.  Sir Martin was CEO of WPP for 33 years, building it from a £1 million “shell” company in 1985 into the world’s largest advertising and marketing services company. When Sir Martin left in April 2018, WPP had a market  capitalisation of over £16 billion, revenues of over £15 billion, profits of approx £2 billion and over 200,000 people in 113 countries. Prior to that, Sir Martin was Group Financial Director of Saatchi & Saatchi plc for 9 years and worked for James Gulliver, Mark McCormack &  Glendinning Associates before that.  S4 Capital plc merged with MediaMonks, its content practice, in July 2018 and MightyHive, its programmatic practice, in December 2018 and has added eight further content programmatic and data companies to both practices in 2019 and one in 2020.  It is listed on the London Stock Exchange under SFOR.L and after a little over one year, S4 Capital plc has over 2400 people in 30 countries, with a market capitalization of over $1.2 billion. Sir Martin supports a number of leading business schools and universities, including his alma maters, Harvard Business School and Cambridge University and a number of charities, including his family foundation.

Annabelle Brodie-Smith, Communications Director, The AIC

Annabel Brodie-Smith Annabel joined the AIC in 1997. Annabel manages the AIC’s PR team whose role is to communicate the uses and benefits of investment companies and VCTs to the media, opinion formers, advisers, wealth managers and private investors.

John Baron, John Baron Portfolios

Talk Title: New World Insights: Exploring themes set to outperform

John Baron is best known to readers of the Investors Chronicle for having successfully managed and reported on two real investment trust portfolios since 2009 – as measured by their benchmarks. His popular monthly column is closely followed and helps investors – private and professional – with their investments.

His company’s website ( reports to members in real time on the progress of nine real investment trust portfolios as they achieve a range of risk-adjusted strategies and income levels. The Performance page testifies to their success. A further edition of his book (‘The FT Guide to Investment Trusts’) is due to be published shortly.

Alex Denny, Head of Investment Trusts, Fidelity

Alex Denny joined Fidelity in 2005 and moved to the Investment Trusts business in 2012. He has played a key role in developing Fidelity’s investment trust distribution proposition, through Personal Investing and FundsNetwork. Alex is also a trustee of the national charity MARINElife.

Leon Boros, ISA Millionaire, Private Investor

Leon Boros is a Chartered Accountant who trained with Ernst & Young and is a founding director of Equity Strategies, a deal origination corporate finance firm. He is an active private investor and is an ISA multi millionaire. He has achieved an annualised return on his investments of 18.5% p.a. for more than 25 years. His investing style has a particular emphasis on companies generating high profit margins, strong cashflow and high returns on tangible assets.

Reg Hoare, MHP

Reg joined MHP in 2010 and has over 30 years City experience, initially gained with 11 years in investment banking and securities, principally at SG Warburg and Nomura. He switched to financial PR in 1995, and specialises in advising mid market companies, from FTSE 250 to AIM 100 across a number of sectors, and has a long track record of advising in complex situations including IPOs, fund raisings, M&A, crises and restructurings. He also served for 8 years as a Board member of the Investor Relations Society, Europe’s leading body for investor relations practitioners.

Graham Neary, Cube Investments

Graham is an investor, analyst and commentator with over a decade of financial markets experience.

He began his career producing fixed income research for hedge funds and investment banks, and then spent several years managing investment portfolios for an insurance company.

From 2017, he contributed to the Small Cap Value Report for Stockopedia, one of the most popular investment reports in the UK. He is currently Director of Cube Dot Investments Limited.

He holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation, the Investment Management Certificate, the STA diploma in technical analysis, and a degree in maths from Trinity College Dublin.

Michael Taylor

Michael Taylor made the move to trading the stock market with his own capital on a full time basis in December 2016. He is the trading columnist at Investors Chronicle and shares his knowledge on his website
Michael has self-published his first book and is a regular speaker at events including TEDx, and believes that trading is a skill that can be learned, optimised, and improved

Mark Simpson

Mark Simpson is a UK-based deep value investor, author and consultant. His book, Excellent Investing, focuses on how to find sources of edge in the market, overcome preventable investment mistakes and build a better portfolio.

Nick Britton, Head of Intermediary Comms, The AIC

A former financial and business journalist, Nick joined the Association of Investment Companies (AIC) in 2015. He works with financial advisers and wealth managers, aiming to improve their understanding and usage of investment companies. As a journalist, Nick held roles including Editor of What Investment magazine and Head of Research at Vitesse Media, where he produced reports such as Directors’ Pay on AIM, the Cash Shells Directory, Institutional Investors in AIM and the VCT Report. He also edited the website which is aimed at growth companies, their investors and advisers. 

Melwin Mehta, Portfolio Manager, MI Discretionary Unit Fund

Melwin manages the MI Discretionary Unit Fund, a UK Fund that has multiplied investor capital 900x in 55 years. For him the most important feature is “management calibre”, hence he meets over 250 companies, in-person, every year. Outside work, he is involved in saving bees.

Rosemary Banyard, Fund Manager, Downing LLP

Talk title: ‘Reading the fine print’ How PI’s can gain an edge by unearthing nuggets within annual reports and accounts

Rosemary Banyard began her career with James Capel & Co before becoming a fund manager at AIB Govett. She joined Schroders in 1997 and for almost 20 years she was known for running the acclaimed Schroder UK Smaller Companies Fund  and the award-winning Schroder Mid Cap Fund PLC as well as heading up several other segregated UK equity mandates, managing total assets of circa £1 billion. In 2016 she joined Sanford DeLand to launch and manage the Free Spirit Fund before leaving in June 2019. She joined Downing in March 2020 to launch and manage the VT Downing Unique Opportunities Fund.


Andrew Latto

Fund Hunter is an independent service dedicated to finding the best investment funds. An objective is more relevant than ever in light of recent scandals. The website is one of the few services that considers both active and passive funds.

Fund Hunter’s overall approach is to identify funds that own stock
compounders. These are companies that are able to increase free cash flow per share over the medium to long term.

Fund Hunter’s model portfolio of funds has meaningfully outperformed the FTSE All-Share Index since inception at the start of 2019.

Peter Higgins, Conkers3 Ltd

Peter Higgins (also known as Conkers on Twitter @conkers3) is the founder and Managing Director of Conkers3 Ltd. Peter is a successful long-term private investor, presenter and interviewer who places a high degree of importance on deep research, followed by patient long-term investing. He has over 25 years of experience investing in stocks and shares.  Peter is the brainchild of and producer of the popular podcasts and video interviews called Conkers’ Corner.
He has also recently created, launched and now co-presents a new investing podcast called “Twin Petes Investing”

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 & 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

John Rosier

After university John started work in The City of London. John enjoyed the first 14 years of his career at Fleming Investment Management as a UK portfolio manager; in 1997, John was appointed Head of UK Equities.  John was a director at Henderson Global Investors from 1998 until 2004, before working for two hedge funds. His investment career was focused on managing UK equity portfolios for corporate and local authority pension schemes.

In 2009 John left full-time employment, since then John has managed his own investment portfolios. 

In 2012, John launched his website , “The diary of a private investor” and since 2016, has been a regular contributor to the Investors Chronicle magazine.

Matthew Bird, Chartered Financial Planner, Falco Financial Planning

Matthew Bird is a Chartered Financial Planner and
provides independent financial advice via his company Falco Financial Planning. He is a pension and investment specialist and holds advanced qualifications in both these areas.

Stephen Clapham, Behind the Balance Sheet

Steve is the founder of Behind the Balance Sheet, the premier investment training consultancy. The company runs Forensic Accounting Courses for leading institutions like Schroders, Hermes and Baillie Gifford – since its first course in June 2018, over 150 investment professionals have been through the programme.

Steve also produces bespoke research for a small group of institutional clients and is involved part time as an analyst at Hardman & Co. Steve is regularly in the press, in leading publications including the FT, Sunday Times, City AM and Investors Chronicle and is a frequent guest on the Today programme on BBC Radio 4, talking about accounting issues at quoted companies. Steve has been an analyst on both the sell-side and buyside (as a partner and head of research at two multi billion hedge funds).