Interviews

Published

General election 2015: Miton Group managing director Gervais Williams – I’m voting as…

6 Mins

Entrepreneurs and owner-managers tend to be a pretty opinionated bunch. To harness this, Real Business is gaining some valuable insight into what kind of governments this section of society would like to see in power. We also hope it serves as an opportunity to feature some great British businesses.

Who are you and what does your business do?

My name is Gervais Williams, and I am managing director and one of the fund managers at Miton Group, a small listed fund management group. Our differential lies in the fact that our fund strategies are based upon a number of new forthcoming market trends that are starting to come through. 

In essence the world has collectively been borrowing growth from the future for the last 25 years. Now we are in the period of growth payback. Our fund strategies are put together to find ways of delivering attractive returns even though the economic challenges might be more difficult.

How has your business changed over the last five years?

The core ethos of our business has remained, but over the last five years we have invested in greater rigour in every part of the group. This isn’t just about stepping up the technical systems, but rather more about becoming much more effective at being clearer about the reasoning for our strategies and keeping our clients right up to date on the current positioning of the funds. In particular we have widened our fund range to include many more equity fund strategies that now complement the original worldwide funds that were here when I joined four years ago.

What are your growth plans for the next five years?

We are an ambitious group, and believe that the success of many of our funds could be very much larger over the next five years. That will be down to the ongoing success of the strategies, the sustaining of our high levels of customer service and our continuing to being highly effective in the every part of the business. In addition we could attract further leading fund managers to the group given the strength of our business foundations.

What kind of government would you like to see elected?

During the credit boom years, economic growth was plentiful. But now the economic trends have changed with the world entering a growth hangover. Government policies need to ensure a good part of our collective savings fund more productivity improvements in future as all wealth creation is based upon this. Productivity improvements enhance wage growth and corporate tax take.  

In addition, if UK-quoted businesses have extra access to capital this also boosts job creation and domestic growth. Governments need to be careful not to crowd out this process by diverting too large a part of our collective savings into infrastructure projects.

Read other “I’m voting as…” features:

Do you think government in general is doing enough to support businesses of your size?

For many years the Enterprise Investment Schemes (EIS) and Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) have kept a flow of capital into some of the smallest AIM-quoted stocks. People may highlight the individual disappointments on the AIM exchange, but overall the UK is almost unique in having a vibrant and viable universe of genuinely small companies.  Ultimately greater resilience is a product of greater biodiversity. 

My view is that is the huge number of smaller quoted stocks means that the UK economy is better placed than many others to address any future economic setbacks. That is not only good for investors, but also everyone else as smaller businesses generate extra employment, domestic growth and corporate tax take.

Has the impending general election caused any uncertainty regarding how you run your company?

Over the last year or so most mainstream markets have performed well in spite of the slowdown in world growth. Meanwhile for a number of reasons, possibly including uncertainties over the forthcoming election, the smallest quoted stocks have missed out on the wider market move.  

We are using this differential by setting up a new fund dedicated to the very smallest quoted companies right now given that we believe the extra growth potential within smaller quoted stocks is likely to become more relevant to investors in a world where economic growth could be sub-normal.

In one sentence, please finish this line: “I’m voting as…”

I’m voting as the managing director of a publicly-quoted business that has plans to grow considerably in the next few years.

Read more from our general election coverage:

Do you agree with Gervais Williams? Is there anything you’d like to add? Please let us know in the comments box below.

Share this story

Job location more important to UK workers than wages
Will Zuckerberg’s internet expansion showcase the world’s hidden entrepreneurs?
Send this to a friend