Here is a quick wrap up of the discussion at the ReSolve Forum at the end of January – the first of 2017.
The stimulating session was notable for the fact that round the table there was £billions of funds seeking opportunities, matched with a cross section of influential players with opportunities for investment across their client list.
Against that background, what was the broad sentiment of the market – are we feeling depressed from the tidal waves of political and economic disruption?
Well not exactly. There was certainly a distinct lack of expectation of growth for the UK, with stability towards stagnation being the sentiment overall. We had a quick poll on interest rates – the floor was marginally of the view that there would be no significant change, with a few responses pointing towards a modest rise.
Sector conversation settled for a while on construction as likely to see the most significant issues – that seemed a pretty universal view. We noted some opportunities to take advantage of reduced real estate prices that might arise – especially in London. Retail, retail, retail – of course – suppliers of materials and parts to construction and automotive were considered as taking a hit post Brexit and Trump. Re the latter, in this group at least a case was made for the potential positive impact on the UK economy from the new US President’s policies.
However, in amongst this view of the macro picture, a micro-perspective repeatedly emerged. The group does not believe it is merely subject to the winds of the economic big picture, it sees itself as representing funds and opportunities that can be agile enough to take advantage of specific circumstances. Mid-size businesses looking for £2m to £20m investment that match annual revenues are able to respond quickly to advantageous circumstances with the right advice and the right access to funds.
This group certainly seems to be looking forward in 2017 to buck the sentiment of stagnation and make this a year to remember – positively. There is a clear belief in the innovative provision of thinking and capital to create growth from challenging circumstances.