PIWORLD Interview with Iain Staples: Investing in dynamic companies

Iain Staples, Fund Manager, on the UK Desk at Schroders, shares how he evaluates dynamic smaller companies for his funds. Firstly, they should make profit and have positive free cashflow, then he describes his four pillars, including their superiority through brand and reputation, then, what he describes as architecture, having the structures in place to operate in any environment; innovation to keep ahead, and strategic assets which make them untouchable. To illustrate, he picks companies with these qualities. He then goes on to give wise advice from his own mistake and gives a view on current markets. A thoroughly entertaining and enlightening interview.

00:41 Iain’s background
03:49 Sectors and themes Iain likes
05:11 Selection criteria for investments
09:58 Innovation: Oxford Instruments (OXIG), Spectris (SXS) Xp Power (XPP), Big Technologies (BIG)
11:54 Strategic assets: Elementis (ELM)
13:00 Are you limited in what you can invest in, by company size?
14:17 What companies offer good value at the moment?
15:03 Eurocell (ECEL)
15:26 Strix (KETL)
17:56 XP Power (XPP)
24:40 Battery storage: Invinity Energy Systems (IES).
(PIWORLD interview with CEO of IES https://www.piworld.co.uk/company-videos/piworld-interview-with-invinity-energy-systems-ies-ceo-larry-zulch/)
33:10 Meditech 33:34 Renalytix (RENX)
40:30 Luceco (LUCE)
(LUCE H120 results https://www.piworld.co.uk/company-videos/luceco-plc-luce-interim-results-september-2020/)
43:00 Learning from mistakes Saietta (SED); 46:13 NCC (NCC)
49:38 Current market valuations

Iain Staples works on:
Schroders UK Smaller Companies Fund:
Schroders Dynamic UK Smaller Companies Fund
https://www.schroders.com/

About Iain Staples:
Iain’s first proper job, after studying maths and theoretical physics at Cambridge and Manchester, was at LEK Consulting, the corporate strategy consultant. After cutting his teeth on anything from potash mines in Spain to launching a low cost carrier for BA, he moved to Hoare Govett in 1999 in its TMT equity research team, just before the dot com bubble started to expand. After it duly popped, he emerged somewhat wiser from the experience and worked for ten years on the sell side, ending up at Altium as a roving analyst. Since 2012, he has worked at Schroders and took on his first fund in 2015.

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