MelloMonday, 9th October 2023, 5pm - 8.30pm

5.00 pm Fireside chat with Craig Richardson
5.30 pm Company presentation by Equals Group plc
6.10 pm Company update by Dillistone Group plc
6.20 pm
Company introductory presentation by Whizz Education
6.35 pm 
Company presentation by accesso Technology Group
7.15 pm BASH panel
with Mark Simpson (Tharisa), Damian Cannon (Bloomsbury Publishing) and Kevin Taylor (RWS Holdings)

David Stredder interviews Craig Richardson – Outlook for markets and equities

I’m a director of PHD Industrial Holdings Limited.  It has over 100 HNW shareholders.  We own the majority stakes in six trading businesses with a combined turnover of over £65m employing over 350 people.  Our aim is to grow by acquisition.  We acquire majority or full stakes in small UK manufacturing and distribution companies.

Our website is

We don’t pay dividends, instead we reinvest cash to fund new acquisitions.  In order to create some liquidity for our shareholders we have two dealing periods each year where shareholders can offer to buy or sell shares between themselves.

We started off with a private equity fund and then did another one and then transferred the investments into what is now PHD Industrial Holdings Limited so that we have permanent capital.  So we are like a private investment trust.

My background is 30 years M&A advisory after qualifying as a chartered accountant with a big four firm and them moving to an independent boutique firm. I sit on the board of all six of our subsidiary companies and head up our new acquisition origination.

Craig Richardson - Director of PHD Industrial Holdings Limited

Company Presentation – accesso Technology

accesso is the leading global provider of patented and award-winning technology solutions that redefine the guest experience, drive increased revenue, streamline operations and support data-driven business decisions for leisure & entertainment operators. Currently serving over 1,000 venues worldwide, accesso invests heavily in research and development to provide venues with technology that empowers them to deliver unforgettable guest experiences. Staffed by a team of attractions, cultural venue and ski industry veterans, accesso partners with venues to increase their range of on- and off-site guest engagement to drive increased revenue through intuitive ticketing, point-of-sale, virtual queuing, distribution and experience management technology.

As Chief Executive Officer at accesso, Steve Brown leads the day-to-day operations of the company.

Like many attractions industry veterans, Brown’s early theme park career began during college as an hourly employee at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando. After a break to pursue his MBA, he returned to Disney where he held a variety of roles with increasing responsibility in financial planning and pricing strategy including development of revised multi-day admission offerings to incorporate the opening of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. In 1999, Brown was named Director, Walt Disney World Ticketing where he led all aspects of the Resort’s ticketing process across its nine gated attractions including pricing strategy, fulfillment operations, training and financial management.

In 2002 he was named Vice President, Revenue Management for the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. Brown successfully drove dramatic growth in park admissions and hotel revenues through significant changes to strategic and promotional pricing, the introduction of new ticket options and by leveraging technology to expand sales distribution channels. In this broad-based executive role, he held primary financial accountability for the Resort’s hotel and ticket revenues, led all promotional and strategic pricing efforts, and managed the attendance forecasting and visitation research functions. In 2005 his role was expanded to encompass line-of-business responsibility for the Disneyland Annual Passholder program including acquisition and renewal marketing, passholder experience optimization, CRM and pricing strategy. Brown’s contributions were key to the Disneyland Resort’s 2005 – 2006 record financial performance during the celebration of the landmark attraction’s 50th anniversary.

Prior to joining accesso, Brown served as the corporate Vice President of Ticket Strategy and Sales for Six Flags. While at Six Flags, he led a 220-person sales force responsible for driving nearly 35% of the company’s admissions revenue. Brown championed an overhaul of the company’s eCommerce process, which doubled the already significant online sales and established Six Flags’ national partnerships with major distributors including Expedia, Travelocity, Best Buy Reward Zone and Costco. He led a comprehensive, research-based review of the company’s ticket pricing and developed the strategic plan for 2007 price adjustments across the company’s North American theme parks and water parks. The implementation of this plan contributed significantly to 2007 attendance growth and the company’s positive cash flow results for the first time in its history.

Brown received his MBA from the Goizueta Business School at Emory University in Atlanta and graduated with a BS in Marketing from the University of South Florida in Tampa.

Short Company Presentation with follow up on Tuesday at 10am – Whizz Education

Seizing the Educational Transformation Moment
In a post-pandemic world, education is at a pivotal juncture. Education stakeholders and ministries of education, worldwide, face a learning crisis but are more receptive than ever to innovative solutions that are proven and can scale nationally. Whizz Education, a beacon of educational innovation for nearly 20 years, with a proven track record and specialism in adaptive learning/AI technologies to enable maths and literacy learning gains, is poised to harness this momentous opportunity.

The pandemic has initially decimated Whizz Education’s ministry of education business in various developing countries as governments shut their schools and diverted funds to health and sanitisation. However they are now lining up to return but with greater need and willingness to scale, so the pending deal sizes are of an order of magnitude larger.

This is an EIS eligible opportunity, to get in at a reduced valuation underpinned by a steady recurring revenue business through individual schools in developed contexts, with the potential for 10x near term growth as developing country ministries of education restart.

The Vision: Tailoring Education for All
Whizz Education was founded on a simple belief that every child deserves a learning experience that caters to their individual needs and pace of learning. Our mission is to enable communities around the world to fulfil their potential through individualised learning. In a time when educational disparities have become more pronounced, we can ensure that every learner at basic education level, regardless of their background or location, has access to tailored, high-quality education that prepares them for the digital age.
We have tutored over a million students world wide and are geared up for state wide and national scale roll outs in our vision to tutor over 100 millions students, many of whom are in developing contexts like Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and beyond.

The Power of AI: Personalization at Its Best
Central to our success is our individualised learning platform powered by adaptive learning / AI technologies. It dynamically adapts to each student’s progress, customizing content to address their unique strengths and weaknesses at each moment of their learning journey. This not only makes learning more effective but also ensures that no student is left behind. With technology at the forefront, Whizz Education is able to democratise private tuition.
Students who use the proprietary Maths-Whizz virtual tutoring platform for 60 minutes per week, improve their maths age by, on average, just over 18 months in their first year of access.

  1. Hindsford Primary in the UK : The first 15 seconds has a child explain better than anyone else on how the virtual tutoring works and makes a difference.
  2. Supporting underprivileged students in Ireland : 3 minute video which will speak to our work supporting different communities
  3. Maths learning in rural Kenya: 2 minute video on making a difference in two of the many communities in remote and impoverished communities in Kenya. Enjoy.

The Future
The area of adaptive learning technology is only now finding its moment and is going to grow enormously in the coming years. It is under-exploited amongst students in under-resourced communities, in the UK and beyond, where it could be of most benefit, game changing for their education and futures. Post pandemic, stakeholders are finally opening up to mainstreaming innovative approaches. Even the UK may be starting to wake up 😊.
Please join us in this journey towards transformative economic and social impact.

Richard Marett, co-founder & CEO, Whizz Education

In this position Richard has had direct experience working with individual schools, ministries of education, donor organisations and partners in six continents across the globe, to raise standards in learning.

Particular specialism in adaptive learning technology to impact teaching and learning in maths at primary and early secondary school level. Whizz has a proven track record of dramatically improving learning outcomes at scale through the democratisation of individual private tuition.

Whizz Education was founded in 2004 and has implemented at scale learning outcome initiatives in diverse contexts ranging from the UK, US, NZ, UAE and also in Russia, under-resourced communities in Sub-Saharan Africa, several states in Mexico and more . Its mission is to enable communities around the world to reach their full potential through individualised learning.

Previous history
Richard was Co-founder and Director at Temple Bar International in Singapore, a financial advisory firm, from 1996 to 2002. Here he began to specialise in Personal Financial Education, which later inspired him to establish an education company.  Prior to that Richard worked briefly in European Government Bonds at British investment bank, BZW, which is now Barclay’s Capital.  Richard graduated from Oxford University in 1994 with a BA and MA in mathematics.

Born to an English father and Israeli mother, Richard then grew up mostly in South East Asia, so an international outlook comes naturally. In his spare time, Richard enjoys travel, reading and is a scratch golfer having played for his county and university teams.

Richard Marett
CEO, Whizz Education
One Kingdom Street
Paddington Central
London W2 6BD

Company Presentation – Equals Group PLC

Equals Group PLC (the “Company”) is a public limited liability company incorporated in England and Wales and domiciled in the UK whose shares are admitted to AIM, a market operated by The London Stock Exchange. In addition to be regulated on AIM, various group companies are regulated by FCA and HMRC . Through one group company, the Group has access to real-time settlement accounts with the Bank of England and is a member of the UK Faster Payments Scheme, meaning customers can transfer and receive funds with immediate effect. The European Payments Council has accepted a group company to belong to “SEPA” – the “instant” fund transfer mechanism for the Euro zone. Membership of SEPA allows Equals customers to receive instant Euro credits to their own-name multi-currency IBAN and instantly send Euro payments to other SEPA scheme members. These connections, complimented with SWIFT, allow the group to provide a true multi-currency account to its customers.

Richard Cooper, Chief Financial Officer

Richard has extensive public market and growth company experience. He was the CFO of GVC Holdings plc (now renamed Entain plc), one of the world’s largest sports-betting, gaming and interactive entertainment groups, from 2008 to 2017. Whilst at GVC, Richard played a key role in the implementation of the Company’s acquisition strategy during that period, together with its move from AIM to the premium segment of the London Stock Exchange’s Main Market. Entain is currently included within the FTSE 100 index. He was also a non-executive director and chairman of the Audit Committee of Sportech Plc from May 2017 to October 2018.

Richard, a Chartered Accountant, is also currently a non-executive director of two AIM-quoted companies; ENGAGE XR  Holdings plc, a virtual reality (‘VR’) technology company and Insig AI plc, a data science and ESG solutions company.

The Q&A session for Equals Group will be managed by Alan Charlton, Professional 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.”

Product Demo – Dillistone Group plc

Dillistone Group Plc is a global leader in the supply of technology solutions and services to the recruitment sector worldwide, in both contingency recruitment and executive search markets. The Group trades through the Ikiru People brand selling into recruitment, staffing and executive search businesses, as well as corporate talent acquisition teams around the world.  Ikiru People provides the platforms its clients need to test and train candidates, support further development, enhance the recruitment process, and source the best talent. Selling into more than 50 countries over six continents and working with thousands of users, the Group boasts more than 30 years in the market and 100’s of years of collective experience.

Ian Mackin, Finance Director

Ian graduated with an honours degree in Accountancy Studies from the University of Huddersfield. Following CIMA qualification in 2004, Ian spent 11 years as Financial Controller of a Childcare chain before a stint as Director of Finance in a Care Home chain.

Ian joined the Group in 2018 and since 2019 has been Group Financial Controller, playing a key role in the restructuring of the Group. He joined the Group Board up in June 2022.

Jason Starr, CEO

Jason Starr joined the Group in 1994, becoming Marketing Manager in 1996 and Managing Director of the UK business in 1998. Following the MBO, Jason became Chief Executive of the Group. Jason was appointed a Non-Executive Director of AIM listed PCIPAL PLC from January 1st, 2015. Jason has a BA (Honours) business studies degree from the London Guildhall University.

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

Kevin Taylor Private Investor 

Damian Cannon Private Investor

Mark Simpson Private Investor

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