This week we talk to Ivan Sedgwick, Investment Director of LGB & Co, a London-based investment boutique. Ivan comes on the show to discuss the UK smaller companies market and the AIM market in particular.
This is an area of great interest for Armchair Trader readers: LGB works with small companies helping them get funding. Ivan kicks the tires on opportunities shown to them by brokers. LGB & Co also provides debt funding to smaller companies, helping out in the space when the banks are not present. Ivan is well-qualified to discuss the market.
Ivan has responsibility at LGB & Co to triage opportunities in the AIM world for its clients. The company works in neglected areas of the market where, as he puts it, “there are too many sharks taking advantage of credulous investors.” He has spent most of his career in the equity capital markets, originally in Japan but more recently in Europe and the UK.
Ivan has a long track record in the financial markets that stretches back to the 1987 stock market crash and brings some great perspective to the podcast.
On the podcast
On this podcast we discuss the changing characteristics of the AIM market, including institutional participation. A lot of money was raised on the AIM market in 2020 to help smaller companies get through the pandemic.
We also talk about the climate for IPOs on AIM. The market does seem to be good, and is very much supported by venture capital trusts. We make some interesting contrasts in our discussion about the differences between the AIM IPO deal market and that prevailing in the USA.
Ivan talks about the levels of participation of retail investment platforms in the AIM market and the Hill report. We ask him about whether more can be done to make the London market more competitive for listings, especially after Brexit. Can the UK AIM market remain competitive, especially with international capital flows?
The podcast is also a great opportunity to catch up on specific smaller company sectors that have interested our readers, including the pipeline of tech IPOs. As Ivan says, “it takes a while to get a tech company market ready.” He expects to see more IPOs, but as he tells us, “you can’t conjure these out of thin air.”
He also discusses the UK healthcare/life sciences sector which he thinks may well be a more fertile source of IPOs going forward.
The podcast also focuses on the mining and natural resources small cap space. Ivan shares some observations with us, especially the interesting market for rare metals stocks. The real problem, he feels, lies with the oil and gas exploration companies, which are facing a potentially sizeable backlash from investors and regulators. Ivan tells us that he thinks some explorers will be taken private by private equity companies, as they could face too much heat in the public markets.
We also talk about the very exciting area of clean technology and green energy, including energy storage and battery technology. We round off with looking at the overall post-pandemic recovery theme and a look at commodity markets and inflation.