Interview #77 : Laurence Hulse (Onward Opportunities Ltd)
Bargains in UK microcaps
For this issue we have the pleasure of interviewing Laurence Hulse, Investment Director at Onward Opportunities Limited.
Onward Opportunities Limited is listed on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) on the London Stock Exchange with the ticker ONWD.
ONWD invest in UK companies with potential for increased valuation through strategic, operational, or management initiatives.
They aim to hold minority stakes of 5-25% and typically invest in companies with market capitalisations of no more than £250 million, with a particular focus on those below £100 million.
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Hi Laurence, thanks so much for taking the time to do this interview.
Can you please tell readers about your background, and how you got involved in investing?
I spent the first seven or so years of my career at Gresham House, where I was fortunate enough to be one of the very early employees and grow with the business.
The day job was as a member and latterly a fund manager of the equities investment team and I was privileged to learn a lot about growing and managing a business at the same time.
I was the sixth or so employee at Gresham House, but by the time I left, I had around 200 colleagues managing over £7bn of assets for clients.
There is a great heritage of fund managers working with Tony Dalwood and the team; Ken Wotton, Richard Staveley, Brendan Gulston and if you go back further, I think even Stuart Widdowson – a bit of a fund factory almost!
I was fortunate to learn so much from them all. This blended with a family business background where buying and selling was the backdrop to home life, so I found that I quickly took to equity investing, especially in smaller companies.
Why did you start Onwards Opportunities?
I was ready to pull together what I had previously learnt, build it into a product, and create value for investors.
There is a huge long-term opportunity in UK equities right now if you can be brave that I felt would not be quite the same in five or ten-years’ time.
So, I went for it. Life is not a dress rehearsal and timing in life is half the battle with anything.