Programme for Monday 6th February 2023, 5pm – 9pm

5.00 pm Stephen English: Twinkle, Twinkle, small cap stars
5.40 pm Company presentation by Newmark Security
6.10 pm Company presentation by Impax Asset Management
6.50 pm Company presentation by Learning with Experts – Full presentation tomorrow lunchtime on zoom webinar
7.10 pm Mark Bentley Signet news… first North East group meeting
7.15 pm Special guest interview
7.40 pm Company presentation by Van Elle
8.10 pmMello BASH with Damian Cannon, Kevin Taylor and Mark Simpson covering IG Design Group plc, National World plc, Netcall plc.

Stephen English: Twinkle, Twinkle, small-cap stars

Stephen English, Investment Director, Stella Asset Management

Stephen English will present “Twinkle, Twinkle small-cap stars” centred on cyclical/structural reasons why small-caps should out-perform large caps over the coming decade and key learnings from the recent ‘everything bubble’ which is now deflating.

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.

Company Presentation – Van Elle plc

Van Elle Holdings is the UK’s largest specialist geotechnical engineering contractor. The Company provides a range of ground engineering techniques and services including – ground investigation, general and specialist piling, rail geotechnical engineering, modular foundations, and ground improvement and stabilisation services.

Van Elle operates through three divisions: General Piling, Specialist Piling and Rail, and Ground Engineering Services; and is focused on three end markets: residential and housing, infrastructure and regional construction – across which the Group has completed more than 20,000 projects over the last 35 years.

General Piling provides a range of larger piling and ground engineering solutions for open-site construction projects. Specialist Piling and Rail provides a range of geotechnical solutions in operationally constrained environments including on-track rail applications. Ground Engineering Services offers a range of ground investigation and geotechnical services and modular foundation solutions such as Smartfoot®. Van Elle has a market-leading reputation and the UK’s largest rig fleet of 122 rigs.

Having floated on AIM in 2016 it now has a strong national presence, diversified offering and market-leading brand name.

Mark Cutler was appointed to the board in August 2018. A graduate of Imperial College London, Mr Cutler is a chartered civil engineer with over 30 years’ experience in the infrastructure, construction and utility sectors and has held various senior leadership roles with major UK contractors. In 2005, Mr Cutler was recruited as Managing Director of Morgan Est, before becoming CEO of Barhale. In 2015 he joined Balfour Beatty, initially to lead its UK regional businesses, and more recently was Managing Director of the Balfour Beatty VINCI joint venture for High Speed 2.

Graeme Campbell was appointed Chief Financial Officer in February 2020. Mr Campbell qualified as a chartered accountant in 2000 and was previously the Group Financial Controller of Severfield plc, the UK’s market-leading structural steel company and one of the largest structural steel businesses in Europe. Mr Campbell has spent his career in senior finance functions across a range of industrial businesses, including latterly as Group Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary for ASX-listed international engineering services business Engenco.

Company Presentation – Learning with experts

Learning you Love from Experts You Trust

Mission Statement: To deliver the best online learning experience to students of vocational subjects taught by world renowned experts through an immersive and interactive platform that delivers community learning amongst students and between tutors and students

Market Need: The rate of course completion globally for online learning averages 20% compared to course completion rates at Learning with Experts of 80%. LWE’s distinction in the market driving such high engagement rates is its interactive learning philosophy and the unique design of its platform to enable interactive learning.  We strongly believe that Learning with Experts will have an impact globally, reaching millions worldwide and positively changing lives and behaviours through education. The Edtech market was $174bn in 2021.

Highly Differentiated Product: We’re the first online learning provider to combine a global, interactive classroom, with broadcast quality videos, accredited curriculums, and true expert teachers – wherever you are. Our platform is able to be completely white labelled, so we are B to C, B to B and B to B to C. We’re already experiencing great traction(78 different countries, 10k+ lessons taught, excellent rating on Trustpilot) and have found product market fit in specific high growth sectors including: Health and Wellbeing: Key customers: NHS trusts, – pls click links to see our videos (B to B to C) Hugh Fearnley Whittingtall (B to C), and Boots No7 Beauty influencers and staff. (B to B), Horticulture and Design: Royal Horticultural Society and Designers Guild, Food and Nutrition Michel Roux Junior and Raymond Blanc (B to C) and finally are working with University of Buckingham at Masters level – B to B, (the largest teacher training university in the UK) who are considered pioneers in innovation in education. We have over 100 well known experts (individuals and brands) in our educator community. 

Competition, Defensibility & IP

Learning with Experts has recently attracted Investor/Board member Justin Cooke, formerly board member of one of our largest competitors, Future Learn (the digital learning company from The Open University) and Vice Chair of Unicef.  The Learning with Experts Product is attracting attention due to its differentiation around student interaction, high engagement levels, and the community of businesses and high profile individuals who have all joined the Learning with Experts mission. Coursera, Edex, Masterclass, and BBC Maestro do not white label their platforms, nor have the interactive learning experience presented by LWE.  We own the IP for the consumer content catalogue of courses and for the home grown platform.

Learning with Experts has been selected by Bridget Gildea, Member of the Board of Advisors Cambridge University Behavioural Insights Team, UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose and Director of Programme Development Harvard Kennedy School of Executive Education.  Bridget selected LWE out of 70 edtech companies as the only one with a unique proposition to change societal behaviours at scale and is now working with the company


Elspeth Briscoe, ex eBay and Skype, took a career break for family reasons and at the same time undertook a landscape design masters course. Her previous experience as head of strategy and online communities at eBay and Skype led her to found her own community focused online gardening school, later becoming the foundation of Learning with Experts.  This has given LWE its unique DNA in social learning, and pedagogies formed out of human networks.  From a B2C focus on gardening LWE has developed out to Food & Drink, Photography, Flower Arranging, Jewellery and Antiques. From the start it has also aligned itself with key industry bodies including the Royal Horticultural Society, The Goldsmiths and River Cottage through which it has now developed a substantial B2B2C business.

Where our business is now

LWE now has over 100 B2C courses across a range of largely vocational subjects taught by world renowned subject matter experts. However, its B2B2C side of the business has also grown very substantially (and is the core focus) working with a number of highly prestigious partners delivering online learning and training either through the LWE consumer platform or a fully white-labelled version of the platform

Its B2B partners include the NHS, the Royal Horticultural Society, River Cottage, Boots No 7, The Times, and Oxford Innovation. LWE’s ex Channel 4 videographer production lead, produces all content and all content is consumed by students through one single technology platform whether white labelled or sold through the LWE website.  LWE currently generates a monthly revenue run rate approaching £100,000 split evenly between its B2C and B2B2C courses.

Proposed Exit

LWE expects to reach its cash-flow breakeven point within the next 12 months and with this funding round. Thereafter it may consider a Series A funding round from a position of cashflow strength and on the basis that it can command a significant increase in value. LWE will subsequently consider an IPO as a liquidity event recognising the strong market that currently exists for edtech IPOs. LWE will also represent a clear acquisition target for the many well- capitailsed edtech platforms including Masterclass, Future Learn and Coursera that do not offer an interactive learning platform for their learning subjects.  It’s also attractive to print and broadcast publishers looking for new revenue streams such as Pearson, or Netflix or Channel4.

What are we looking for

We are looking to raise a £2m funding round to invest in the B to B team and tech team.  It’s particularly important to me as a woman founder/CEO who has already attracted investment, that I also attract investment from a fund/angels who champion diversity.   We’re now only selecting investors who are not only interested in 10x+, but also in societal impact/education with a focus on diverse founders. 


The investors in this round have included some key new angels including Guy Baring, the backer of River Cottage and Keith Weed, former CMO of Unilever. Our non-exec board and investors/advisors now also includes Professor Sir Muir Gray (former Chief Knowledge Officer NHS) and Alison Forrestal (Amazon, Diageo), Justin Cooke (previously Vice Chair Unicef, board Future Learn), Rupert Pennant Rae – former Deputy Governor of The Bank of England/Editor The Economist, and David Armfield (former PwC and Lehman Brothers). 

Press (our latest press)

Learning with Experts in the Financial Times – The Challenge from a New Generation of Course Providers

Learning with Experts in The Express – Learning with Experts expands its stellar vocational and commercial training courses

Elspeth Briscoe is the CEO and Founder of Learning with Experts. Elspeth wrote a dissertation about the future of the internet in the early 90s, and subsequently went on to hold senior positions in strategy at eBay and Skype, having joined at start-up stage. Elspeth was also in the digital team that transitioned The Guardian Newspaper from print to digital.

Company Presentation – Impax Asset Management

Founded in 1998, Impax is a specialist asset manager, with approximately £37.9 billion as of 31 December 2022 in both listed and private markets strategies, investing in the opportunities arising from the transition to a more sustainable global economy.

Impax believes that capital markets will be shaped profoundly by global sustainability challenges, including climate change, pollution and essential investments in human capital, infrastructure and resource efficiency. These trends will drive growth for well-positioned companies and create risks for those unable or unwilling to adapt.

The company seeks to invest in higher quality companies with strong business models that demonstrate sound management of risk. Impax offers a well-rounded suite of investment solutions spanning multiple asset classes seeking superior risk-adjusted returns over the medium to long term.

Impax has approximately 280 employees across its offices in the United Kingdom, the United States, Ireland and Hong Kong, making it one of the investment management sector’s largest investment teams dedicated to sustainable development.


Ian Simm is the Founder and Chief Executive of Impax Asset Management Group plc, one of the world’s leading investment managers dedicated to investing in the transition to a more sustainable economy. Prior to Impax, Ian was an engagement manager at McKinsey & Company advising clients on environmental strategy.

Outside Impax, Ian is a member of the UK government’s Net Zero Innovation Board, which provides strategic oversight of public sector funding of energy innovation programmes, and is a board member of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, the European membership body for investor collaboration on addressing climate change. He is also a commissioner with the Energy Transitions Commission, a global coalition of leaders developing transition roadmaps to achieve net-zero emissions. Between 2013 and 2018, he was a board member of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), the UK’s leading funding agency for environmental science. He supports charities in the clean energy, healthcare and a range of scientific and environmental sectors.

Ian has a first-class honours degree in physics from Cambridge University and a Master’s in Public Administration from Harvard University.

Company Presentation – i3 energy plc

i3 is a London (AIM:i3E) and Toronto (TSX:iTE) listed energy company with a diverse, full-cycle portfolio of assets in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin (WCSB) and UK North Sea (UKNS).

i3 has 2P reserves in Canada of approximately 154 MMboe and produces over 22,000 boepd from large contiguous holdings in some of the WCSB’s most economic play types, with material upside deliverable through the Company’s sizeable, operated positions at Simonette (Montney) and Marten Hills (Clearwater). i3 produces from over 700 net long-life, low-risk and low-decline wells, spanning over 625,000 net acres, providing steady income that can be distributed to shareholders, used to fund the development of its prolific inventory, or to pursue farm-in and M&A opportunities.

In the UKNS, i3 owns and operates block 13/23c which encapsulates the company’s 2019 Serenity oil discovery and also the highly-prospective Minos High area. The company’s North Sea strategy focuses on the development of existing discoveries that are located proximal to existing infrastructure in order to minimise development capital and maximise economic recovery.

i3 is committed to returning value to shareholders through the deployment of its growth model, by way of growth-related share price appreciation, monthly dividend distributions, and opportunistic share buybacks.

Majid has over 30 years of technical and investment banking experience focused on the global E&P sector.

Majid joined the board of i3 when it listed on the AIM market in 2017. Prior to taking over as CEO, Majid spent 17 years in energy investment banking, advising on M&A and equity financing for the small to mid-cap oil and gas sector. During that time, Majid worked for Waterous and Co, Tristone Capital Ltd, FirstEnergy Capital LLP, and Argentil Capital Partners.

Prior to his investment banking career, Majid worked for Mobil Oil Corporation for 13 years in various petroleum engineering and commercial roles in the UK and the Netherlands. Majid has a Bachelor’s degree in Nuclear Engineering from Manchester University, a Master’s degree in Petroleum Engineering from Heriot-Watt University and an MBA from London Business School.

Company Presentation – Newmark Security plc

Newmark Security PLC (AIM:NWT) delivers long-term shareholder value through the provision of products and services that protect both personnel and their data while ensuring security for an organisation’s physical assets. Listed on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange since 1997, we design and manufacture a range of specialist products and services that ensure safe, secure and productive workplaces. From its locations in the UK and the US, the organisation operates through subsidiary businesses positioned in specialist, high-growth markets.

Safetell provides physical security installations to numerous end-user sectors. Products and services range from Asset Protection Solutions to Counter Terror Deployments. Grosvenor Technology serves the Access Control and Human Capital Management markets globally providing both hardware and software to collect and secure data while maintaining privacy, ensuring compliance and reducing operating costs for its clients. This is typically provisioned through a recurring software as a service model.

Generating a great proportion of its revenues from recurring services through Software as a Service (SaaS) and Clock as a Service (ClaaS) provisioning is part of Newmark’s overarching strategy which is dedicated to building a business that has long-term stability and sustainability at its core.

Marie–Claire Dwek was appointed as CEO of Newmark Security PLC in 2013. Prior to this, she spent more than a decade in real estate investment & management developing a successful portfolio of diversified investments. Earlier in her career Marie-Claire gained deep experience of the security technology sector as she served as Marketing Director for an electronic security provider.

Marie-Claire is responsible for setting and implementing corporate strategy and ensuring subsidiaries’ goals are aligned with those of the broader global group. She adopts a philosophy of leading from the front and takes an active role with customers and the broader industry alike.

Paul is a Chartered Accountant, having qualified with KPMG in 2000. Paul has over 20 years’ experience of working in finance departments of both large and small groups. Paul joined Newmark from CognitionX, an events and software business, where he was the Chief Commercial Officer developing the commercial strategy for their new software and service products.

Prior to that Paul was the Chief Finance Officer of Brave Bison Group plc, an AIM listed digital media business where he helped devise and execute a new strategy resulting in doubling the market valuation of the group. Paul has held other senior finance roles in Warner Bros., Shine Group, Channel 4 and ITV where he gained experience in managing US operations, mergers and acquisitions, system implementations and process improvement reviews.

MelloBLISS Competition Update

With just under three months left, we will be reviewing the Mello 2022 share picking competition.   We will discuss the runners and riders, and who is left in the competition, intact!

This competition saw Mello investors have picked five stocks they thought will beat the FTSE indices at four quarterly review dates to get through to the final in December…. there will be five winners of sensational prizes that investors will really enjoy and cannot be won or purchased anywhere. 

The Mello BASH (Buy, Avoid, Sell & Hold)

Damian Cannon Private Investor

Mark Simpson Private Investor

Kevin Taylor Private Investor

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