Oberon Investments Group plc (AQSE:OBE) Head of Oberon Capital Mike Seabrook caught up with DirectorsTalk for an exclusive interview to discuss the £3.4 million fundraise, what the funds will be used for, how the business has progressed so far this year and what investors can expect from the company.
Q1: Oberon Investments Group announced a successful place to raise £3.4 million. Mike, can you just tell us a bit more about this and a bit about the company in general?
A1: I appreciate not everyone will have heard of us but hopefully that’s going to change in the future.
We’re very proud of the growth, we’ve grown that Funds under Management and Administration from, I think, around about the £100 million mark in 2018 to £1 billion now. We launched also a fast growing corporate advisory and fundraising business and that covers private and public markets which has gone extremely well. So we’re proud of that and we see all our growth and achievements to date as very much almost the start-up phase and this fundraising really backs up the transitioning we see now into our growth and development stage so the capital supports all of that.
A little about who we are, we are an old traditional fast growing wealth management and corporate advisory group, I think, firmly on the map now and, as you pointed out, the growth of Funds under Management to over £1billion. This fundraise backed by institutional investors and our existing shareholders as well, we’re very delighted to have people on board and thank everyone for their support and that’s really going to support further growth in the Funds under Management and Administration.
So, hopefully the start of an exciting journey.
Q2: So, what does the company plan to do with the funds that it’s raised and what will it mean for the business?
A2: We’ll certainly use the capital to support new hires in the investment management business and back some of the marketing initiatives we have in that business and some fund launches. Just as an example there, we’ve just launched our portfolio EIS service, which is something our clients told us they really wanted, and that offers a portfolio approach to investing in brilliant UK gross businesses that qualify for that EIS relief.
In our corporate business, we’re looking to enhance our offering so some of the capital is going to be used to target the right people to help us give a broader but certainly excellent service of clients.
As a management team, we’ve got really ambitious targets for growing our business and with the inherent operational gearing in our business, we think it’ll be attractive returns generated for shareholders, great performance and hopefully a great user experience for our clients, and also a fun and rewarding place to work for my colleagues.
Q3: Just moving on more generally now, how has the business been progressing so far this year?
A3: It’s been an interesting year for everyone, I think, and no exception for us and we’re very proud to be able to have grown the business with all the challenges in markets and generally the COVID impact that everyone’s been wrestling with.
I’d just point out probably that every single team without fail that’s joined the company has increased their Assets under Administration steadily since joining and we really like the steady progression there. It hasn’t been one month up, one month down, it’s just been a lovely progression so very pleased about that and all is well for the future, I think.
Having reached that £1 billion milestone, we think that’s a key stage in our development and hopefully now we’ll be an even more attractive destination for investment managers and also for clients who value our focus on client service and combining the traditional values whilst absolutely focused on that, embracing modern technologies, and delivering a great service of course. That’s the plan.
Q4: Looking forward then, what can investors expect from Oberon Investments Group?
A4: We think the company’s a fun and interesting place to work, we’re attracting and welcoming brilliant wealth managers and teams, we’re looking for more who want to have autonomy in a fun, proactive environment and keep direct contact with their clients.
The vast majority of our growth has been organic and clear proof that our offering, I think, is attracted to clients, not just the service but also the track record of investment performance and decent range of investment strategies we have for clients.
Certainly, looking to the future, having reached that £1 billion, hurdle, I think shareholders and commentators and people following us can expect us to keep that momentum up, frankly. Certainly looking to attract new teams of fund managers, attract new clients, launch new products so a lot going on.
Quickly from the launch of the EIS fund I mentioned, I think we can look forward to an inheritance tax fund service which I think is something our clients have asked us to develop and we’ve got great ambitions to grow further by acquisition.
I think probably in summary, we want to be known as a growth company that values our clients and embraces technology to enhance our offering to existing clients so giving them brilliant information, brilliant service levels, a brilliant experience, really.
So, we look forward to reporting progress in all of those in the months and years ahead, certainly an exciting future for us all, but a lot of hard work ahead.