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Q1: Now, Gresham House’s annual results were released yesterday. Over the year, assets under management have increased 79% and importantly, the company is now run-rate profitable, a great achievement after 3 years since inception. Tony, can you talk us through these and the other highlights from the results?
A1: Yes, it’s been a good year, 2017. We’ve exceeded the areas of targets that we had when we started out, particularly around profitability, particularly around product development and expansion of the team. We’re very pleased with the total assets under management growth but I think particularly, to pull out the organic growth within that which was over 50% which is significant as we develop this business.
We’re 3 years in, as you say, into this journey and we’re now very much a pure play alternative asset manager, we have a number of platforms within the business now with some specialist’s niche asset classes and some exceptional teams within the business; forestry, private equity, strategic public equity, renewables now, all very asset classes. Last year, particularly, very pleased that we launched on our investment solutions platform, the British Strategic Investment Fund backed by a number of local government funded pension schemes.
So, going forward, we believe we’re in a good position to scale the business and push through into higher profitability and we can see visibly how we can organically grow even further. As we’ve mentioned also in our results, we’ve talked about a number of potential acquisitions and that’s something that we’ve done over the last 2 or 3 years, we’ve done it well and we hope that we can continue to do that.
Q2: You have come a long way in such a short space of time really. There’s been a lot of activity for Gresham House in 2017 but what has been the most exciting for you?
A2: No single point, to be honest, there’s a number. The launch of the British Strategic fund is significant, the potential for infrastructure and housing related transactions and development within the UK is substantial and we’re positioned to do that, particularly within local and regional opportunities alongside local authorities or treasury finance opportunities.
On top of that, we’ve developed a client portal which gives a lot more transparency and access to what we do here for our clients and that’s something which we will build on over the future.
A couple of other things would be that we’re pleased with some very strong investment performance within certain of our asset classes like forestry and importantly, for shareholder value, the hitting and exceeding of profit expectations is material for the future of this business.
Q3: What’s the pipeline for 2018 like for Gresham House?
A3: It’s good, we’re genuinely excited that the macro environment remains slightly volatile but within that we have a very strong business with long-term contracts and areas where there is structural growth within asset allocation for alternatives.
So, with that tailwind, so to speak, we have a very strong balance sheet with net cash that we intend to continue using to generate superior return on capital employed that we’ve done over the last 3 years, so we have some growth opportunities that we can foresee over 2018 and we’ll be deploying that capital accordingly.