Ross Andrews, Non-Executive Director of Integumen Plc, is pleased to announce Conditional Subscription and Placing to raise £355,000.

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A former board member of investment bank Zeus Capital is today launching a corporate finance boutique alongside a senior executive from Nex Exchange.

The new firm, Guild Financial Advisory, will advise companies on initial public offerings (IPOs), fund raising, deals and corporate governance.

Its chief executive Ross Andrews previously spent eight years with Zeus where he was a main board director, advising on deals such as online fashion retailer Boohoo’s initial public offering in 2014.

The new firm, Guild Financial Advisory, will advise companies on initial public offerings (IPOs), fund raising, deals and corporate governance.

Its chief executive Ross Andrews previously spent eight years with Zeus where he was a main board director, during which time the broker advised on deals such as online fashion retailer Boohoo’s initial public offering in 2014.

Andrews told City A.M. that he was planning on using the experience and contacts he had built up in his career for the benefit of his new clients.

“I had a 30 year plus career in the financial markets in London, advising companies on IPOs, fundraisings and acquisitions and over that time I have built up an immense contact base and some strong long-term relationships,” he said

Andrews said he was launching the firm in response to a demand for independent corporate finance advice.

“It occurred to me the more I spoke to people – there was a gap in the market for providing independent corporate finance advice to ambitious growing businesses and companies and that is what I want to do,” he said.

“The dynamics in the London market are changing,” Andrews said. “You have a mid-market tier, which clients want to use for big transactions but for the smaller transactions they want independent advisers who can provide them with good, solid advice who know what they are doing with a different cost structure to the mid-market.”

Andrews is founding the firm alongside Nex Exchange’s managing director of markets David Battle.

Andrews said the business would work with a network of independent consultants who would be able to provide specialist advice on a deal-by-deal basis.

“Those independent consultants will be able to bring specialist transactional and sector knowledge to the team and they will have the benefit of executing their deals with regulatory support, marketing support and access to other expert consultants,” he said.

Andrews said he was not worried by about a possible impact of Brexit on the market, arguing that London would still be a key business and financial centre whatever the outcome of the current negotiations.

“London will remain a key financial centre wherever we get to. It has over decades been a pool of long term-capital for companies and I don’t see anything changing as a consequence of Brexit,” he said.

19 November 2018

As NEX Exchange opens its doors to junior overseas companies we discuss here the importance of appointing independent directors to the board as part of the listing process. Whilst some companies only appoint one Independent Director it is common (and advisable) for overseas companies to appoint 2 or 3 Independent Directors to the board in the run up to a London Listing. Identifying the right candidate can be of critical importance as can be the timing of such appointment.

Providers of equity funding in London will want to be reassured that post listing they will have access to the board and be kept informed of developments in a clear and timely manner, not always easy when the operational executive board is based overseas. This is where the Independent Director plays an important role.

In London the majority of equity providers, financial advisers and debt providers are located within one square mile of the Bank England and within walking distance of each other. For an institution, knowing that you have appointed an Independent Director, who has considerable experience of operating in the London listed market, is based in London, has an in depth understanding of the London regulatory environment, who they know and trust and who they can have face to face access can make the difference between whether or not they make an investment. The London investor will also be reassured, post listing that the Independent Director will be there to provide advice to executive management and provide appropriate challenge to the strategic direction of the Company.

A listing in London should be seen as the start of the next stage of your journey and not the end of the journey. It is important to understand that London has more long term institutional investors than other established stock markets and they are therefore more likely to maintain an investment once made. Investors understand that not everything goes to plan and sometimes trading can be difficult, important contracts lost and companies may experience a decline in trading performance. Provided they have built up, over time, a detailed understanding of the Company (partly through meetings with the Independent Director), and that news is communicated in a coherent and timely manner, institutions are likely to be understanding, even on receipt of bad news, and retain their investment.  If you don’t build this trust and timely communication then unexpected trading surprises are likely to quickly result in the investor disposing of their investment with the consequential negative impact on your share price.

For those considering a listing in London it is advisable that they involve the independent Director at an early stage in the listing process. This will ensure that they have sufficient time to get to know the company and the management team and also time for the company to build a good working relationship with them. Early involvement will also ensure that they can play an important link between the executive management team and the UK advisers during the listing process and provide independent advice on the overall listing process.

PR, or to be specific, Investor Relations, is a sub-section of a company’s public relations function and describes the ongoing activity of how a quoted company communicates with the investment community, whether it is existing shareholders, potential investors, analysts or journalists. This engagement can take several forms such as company news-releases (whether regulatory or general announcements), annual reports, websites, meetings with members of the investor community, interviews with journalists and market commentators and investment blogs.

To be effective the IR programme, must have the full commitment and support of the Board, executive and non- executive, as well as senior management. Articulate the messages that you wish to communicate and build a rolling plan for the next 12 – 18 months with your investor relations team on how you will effectively communicate to your target audience. The end objective should be to inform stakeholders about the company, so that they can gain a greater understanding about the company’s business, its governance, financial performance and prospects. This will enhance the company’s ability to access capital markets in the future when new funding is required, improve liquidity in the shares and consequently ensure a fair valuation for the company’s shares. Remember that there are several thousand companies on the London Stock Exchange’s markets and therefore competition for investor, analyst and media attention is strong, with the risk that quoted companies having limited access to these audiences. This is more so for smaller companies and the key therefore is to try and differentiate yourself from the general noise. However, properly used, the IR team will be the eyes and ears of the company in the market and will deliver valuable insight into market sentiment.

Some basic investor relations exercises that all companies should undertake include:

  • Set your financial reporting calendar adhering to any regulations concerning the publication of your full and half-year results, and make this publicly available to the investment community.
  • Agree on your communication tools such as meetings, annual reports and website.
  • The website is often the first interaction that a potential customer has with the company.
  • Regularly analyse the share register to benchmark the profile of your shareholder register against that of your peers. Are there segments of the investor community you need to spend more time targeting?
  • Undertake an in-depth analysis of the company to make sure you have a precise explanation of your company’s investment proposition, including analysis of the company’s current and future ability to provide shareholders with capital growth and/or capital returns, including their size and timing.
  • Regularly review your investor relations strategy to measure its success against the objectives.

Why commit to investor relations? Entering into a dialogue and developing relationships with the investment community over time so that its participants become cognisant with the company and its investment proposition is generally seen as a worthwhile exercise when trying to achieve efficient, cost-effective access to capital. We should remember that communication should be about two way dialogue, not just a one way flow of information from the company. With corporate governance and in particular executive remuneration definitely moving up the agenda, a wise management team should listen to what investors are saying.

Growth figures raise chances of rate rise – BBC News:

25 Oct 2017 – Economists said the figures were a green light for a rate rise next week … of a rate rise next week,” said Ross Andrews from Minerva Lending…Will interest rates rise next week?

UK interest rates – Bank of England announce 2017 rates: › News › UK

3 Aug 2017 – ‘Body blow to Britain’s savers’: UK interest rates REVEALED by Bank of …

Ross Andrews, director of fixed rate bond provider, Minerva Lending