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.
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.
Mark Northway 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.
Mark chaired ShareSoc from April 2016 to December 2021.
Mark Bentley 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 has a wide range of managerial experience in processing and manufacturing industries ranging from oil production and refining to chemicals, industrial, medical and speciality gases. His functional experiences include strategy, B2B marketing, product development, sales, operations, business and project management.
Since retiring from full time roles in the corporate world Mike has put his energies into growing ShareSoc’s membership base, managing his own investment portfolio, doing consultancy work, playing golf and climbing mountains.
Paul de Gruchy 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.
David Stredder started as a sports journalist but 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 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 has 30+ years’ experience as a remuneration consultant advising many FTSE 350, Small Cap and AIM companies. He is the author of the Directors’ Remuneration Handbook and ShareSoc’s Remuneration Guide. Cliff leads ShareSoc’s Policy and Campaigning activities.
SIGnet Director: 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.