I thought I’d write a short blog about my Monday evening trip into town to see the above organisations speak at the ‘Public Markets & Growth Capital’ event hosted at Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce.
Not entirely knowing what to expect, I was greeted in the foyer by Matt from the NEX Exchange who I’ve managed to bump into a couple of times of late. I grabbed my coffee, took a quick pic (below) and took my seat.
I sat next to a member of the Core Investment Team from GMCA and it soon became apparent to me that I was in esteemed company… Delegates from local branches of WH Ireland to Tech Manchester to EY and others filled the room as well as being around some companies both listed on the NEX Exchange or thinking about what a public listing might do for their business.
First up was the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce‘s Chris Fletcher who took us through the high/lowlights of their recent Q2 Economic survey for employers in Greater Manchester. It was interesting to note that since I’ve lived back up in Manchester for the last 5 years or so I’ve seen a period of economic growth in the city itself yet possibly wasn’t as quite aware of the wider needs of the 10 boroughs as Paul highlighted in his short speech.
Next up came NEX Exchange CEO Patrick Birley who delivered an upbeat talk about why ‘the other exchange’ is appealing to a wide range of businesses across the UK and overseas. A low cost alternative to FTSE AIM might be many senior exec’s first thoughts… but what are the benefits? Longer term investors, a personal service, a lite approach to corporate advice… and much more. I was very surprised to learn that NEX Exchange (whilst funded by the billionaire owner of ICAP) only employs 14 staff here in the UK, 3 of which were at the event. This made me think that doing business with NEX Exchange must be a straightforward process as has been mentioned recently on one of our recent Share Talk podcasts with Metal NRG.
We then got quite a detailed overview from the Director of the EIS Association about the tax benefits that the Enterprise Investment Scheme brings to investors and companies alike. It was quite an eye opener for myself and many in the audience. It’s certainly something I’ll be asking my accountant about and if you haven’t heard of EIS then maybe you should ask the same question or click the link above for more info.
So along with NEX… then came my other reason for attending the evening’s presentation… Henrik Ottosson, Senior Advisor of Invesdor. For those of you that haven’t heard of Invesdor I highly recommend you visit their squeaky clean, and very pink, website. This is crowdfunding on a different scale to the usual sites you may or may not have visited online. Invesdor specialise in pre IPO, IPO and other fundraises for companies from across the European Economic Area and have specific interests in companies in the Nordics and the UK. Investors can invest as little as 250 Euros in a company with typical average investments being £2-3,000. It appears Invesdor are to be partnering with the NEX Exchange and I can only see this to be hugely positive for both parties in increasing the investment opportunity for their respective clients.
James Bedford of Tech North gave us all a really interesting insight into their soon to be renamed ‘Angel Development Fund’ which seeks to engage with growth companies in the Tech sector across the North of England. The fund totals £120M and has backing from central government. The only problem they have…is in investing it. Trying to source an appropriate growth company to then match them with an ‘Angel’ might sound simple enough but Tech North are to begin running a series of events to attract such companies (and Angels) to get involved in what looks to be an exciting project which could benefit economies across the north of England.
Last but not least we had a quick 5 minutes or so with Blackmore Group CEO Phillip Nunn. Phillip comes across as that guy who just can’t work enough hours in the day. His multi-asset business worth over £60M is soon to be listing on NEX Exchange and the company doesn’t appear to be a one trick pony. The group has interests in property and fintech, and more specificially, fintech for millennials. It was the fintech for millennials soundbite that really grabbed me as you could tell Phillip was passionate about the subject and had obviously done some initial primary research to identify a gap in the market with this demographic. I for one, am interested to see what the future holds for Blackmore Group.
So after handing a few cards out, having some chit chat and grabbing a quick beer, I made my way back to the suburbs thinking… we should do a lot more of this in Manchester.
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