BOARD OF DIRECTORS
BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON THE DIRECTORS OF THE UK INDIVIDUAL SHAREHOLDERS SOCIETY
ShareSoc is managed by a board of directors who are mainly non-executive, and who are elected or appointed in the same way as any other company directors (ShareSoc is a company limited by guarantee). Below are some photographs and brief biographical details of the current board.
Chairman: Mark Northway, BA, MBA, IMC. Mark is an experienced practitioner in financial markets with wide ranging managerial and governance experience across credit, fixed income, equity and treasury markets, and associated cash and derivative instruments. His experience spans multiple disciplines including marketing, trading, investment and the management of complex financial and regulatory risk within a variety of vehicles and legal structures.
Patron: Lord Lee of Trafford – John Lee is regarded as one on the UK’s leading private investors, having bought his first shares sixty years ago. He was one of the earliest to recognise the long-term potential of PEPs (the forerunner of ISAs) when they were launched in 1987 and was judged to be the first ISA millionaire in 2003.
John has written over 250 articles for FT Money and has given numerous lectures and interviews on his investment philosophy as a long-term value investor. In 2014 Pearsons published his well-received book “How to Make a Million – Slowly: my guiding principles from a lifetime of successful investing”. In 2019 Grosvenor House published his primer for teenagers and young investors “Yummy Yoghurt: A First Taste of Stock Market Investment”.
John is a Chartered Accountant with a wide experience of investment banking and business and is Patron of ShareSoc, the leading body lobbying and campaigning on behalf of private investors. From 1979-92 he was a Member of Parliament, and during this period he was both a Defence and Tourism Minister. A former High Sheriff of Manchester, he sits as a member of the House of Lords as Lord Lee of Trafford and lives in Richmond, Surrey.
SIGnet Chairman: Ray Williams. Ray has been an investor since November 1984 at the time of the BT privatisation with a particular interest in pharmaceuticals, the industry he made his career in. Ray left the pharmaceutical industry to concentrate on investing. He became very aware of how few investors he knew and in seeking to contact other investors he learnt of and joined SIGnet. He has since benefited enormously from the increase in his knowledge and understanding of the world of investment.
Ray has led SIGnet since the beginning of 2018 and has been able to guide the group into merger with ShareSoc. This is a merger where all realise that together we can achieve far more for private investors than each individually.
Mark Bentley, M.A. Mark has been a full-time stock market investor since 2004, having pursued investment as a rewarding hobby for 20 years previously. Most of Mark’s career was spent in the I.T. industry beginning with Logica in 1980, where he worked on the Giotto Halley’s Comet intercept mission for the European Space Agency amongst other projects. In 1987 Mark started his own IT services business, Anvil Technology Ltd, which he ran successfully for 14 years. He is an active investor, attending many company meetings each year and publishes his findings on a number of investment orientated web sites.
Mike Dennis is a chartered engineer by profession who worked firstly for Shell and then later for BOC, the industrial gas business. In the latter part of his time there he moved into sales, marketing and business development and ultimately spent several years as a board director for BOC’s UK businesses. Since 2012 Mike has been running his own consultancy business and spending time developing his own investment portfolio. Mike is also a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) ambassador and spends time encouraging students to take in interest in STEM related careers.
Paul de Gruchy. Paul has a background in law, latterly as Head of Legal for BNP Paribas Offshore, where he helped establish a large number of listed investment funds. Before that he spent time developing financial services policy and legislation for the regulator and government in Jersey. Since moving to the UK in 2016, he has focused on investing, running a high conviction portfolio of small cap, cash generative stocks that are overlooked by the market but have potential for significant growth. Paul is also a non-executive director of GCP Infrastructure Investments, a FTSE 250 listed investment company, which gives him a direct understanding of the responsibilities of the modern board.
Mark Lauber, CFA. Mark has a background in finance, having worked for major banks internationally with a focus on investment products. In 2008 he founded Irongate Capital Ltd., an independent consulting and investment vehicle, to develop interests in corporate finance and private equity investment. One of his current projects is the orderly realisation of assets for a private equity and commercial property firm so as to preserve and maximise shareholder value. While maintaining holdings in larger FTSE companies, he is also a keen investor in special situations (usually looking for fixed income characteristics), VCTs, and smaller listed and unlisted UK companies.
Karin Schulte. Karin has worked in global logistics, investment banking and private equity in Asia for a total of 25 years based in Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia. Karin is currently based in the UK and actively invests in listed and unlisted companies. Karin has extensive experience also in the not-for-profit sector both in the UK and internationally. Karin has a portfolio of roles and has a particular interest in the next generation of leaders.
Penny Shepherd MBE was formerly Chief Executive of the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association. In her final year there, she was named in the Financial News ‘FN100 Women 2012’ list of the 100 most influential female executives in European financial markets and shortlisted for its ‘Most Influential Woman in Asset Management’ award. Penny previously spent 20 years working in information technology at IBM. She now has a portfolio of roles, particularly in energy and water, with a focus on consumer representation and community engagement and has chaired the investment committee for a £200m charity portfolio. She is a Freeman of the City of London.
Chris Spencer-Phillips has considerable experience of recruiting at Board Level, specialises in Non-Exec Director projects and is a qualified personal profile and psychometric analyst. Chris has a background in advertising (Young & Rubicam, US) and the graphics industry (Letraset) as well as starting two publishing companies (Doverlodge and Datateam). He is a keen golfer (Rye & St Enodoc), a former racehorse breeder (champion sprinter in Ireland) and was a Council Member of the Racehorse Owners Assoc for 16 years.
David Stredder. David started as a sports journalist in his early working life but he decided to concentrate on his growing property management business from the age of 29. That business grew to be one of the largest in South London and was sold to an industry consolidator in the late nineties. Since then he has concentrated on his listed and unlisted investments and is an active small cap investor. David was a founder and eventual chairman of the London Business Club and networking continues to play an important role with the regular monthly investor dinners and company presentations that he arranges in South East London.
Amit Vedhara BSc, MBA (dist), ON has a background in Marketing and growing organisations. With over 25 years in industry and consulting, he has operated as a Marketing director and interim consultant establishing a track record of unlocking growth across multiple sectors in listed firms, turnarounds and private venture-backed firms. Amit has change leadership experience at board level in Marketing, Pricing and Product and has worked in both digital and more traditionally organised environments. Amit has been investing his entire adult life and takes a mix of contrarian and risk-weighted approaches to his stock picking in both quoted and unquoted companies
Cliff Weight has been a stock market investor since 1984. He now focuses on smaller growth companies. He is a non-executive director of MM&K, the leading independent remuneration consultant, and has 30 years’ experience as a remuneration consultant advising many FTSE 350, Small Cap and AIM companies. He is a member of the Editorial Board of Executive Compensation Briefing. He is the author of the Directors’ Remuneration Handbook.