Edition 1; issue 1: Value in the regions
We are delighted to be launching the first edition of The Insight, a newsletter for the Mercia community providing a closer look into our business and our team. We hope you enjoy it and we look forward to your feedback.
We have chosen this first edition to focus on the value that can be found in the regions, driven by ambitious SMEs that span the length and breadth of the UK. Our purpose is to support the growth and value creation of these businesses and, post-pandemic, provide a much needed spotlight on the number and diversity of growth SMEs located outside of London and demonstrate why it makes good business sense to connect our capital to these entrepreneurs.
We firmly believe in both the resilience and the value that resides within SMEs located in the UK’s regions. Mercia has been working hard to back exceptional businesses and, in part, redress the funding imbalance. As a result, we are proud to be one of the most active investors in the UK regions, fuelling our own growth in the provision of private equity, venture capital and debt – what we term our ‘Complete Connected Capital’, demonstrated by our strong interim results. We believe it is now even more important to maintain the focus on the UK regions, which we see as an opportunity for domestic economic recovery.
Welcome to our maiden Mercia newsletter that shares our insights from across the UK regions.
The Life Sciences portfolio collectively accounts for approximately 30% of the portfolio and this interview with Edison’s outlines:
- Why Mercia invests in the sector with a strong regional focus
- Why we believe our Complete Connected Capital is a key differentiator
- What role university partners and NEDs play in Mercia’s model
- The strategy in action – The Native Antigen Company and Optibiotix
- What impact COVID-19 has had on the portfolio
- Dr Mark Payton’s view on the COVID-19 vaccine development
In this interview you can hear from Mercia’s CEO, Dr Mark Payton and two senior members of the Life Sciences investment team, Dr Mark Wyatt and Chief Operating Officer, Peter Dines.
Interview with OXGENE
Ryan Cawood, CEO and Jocelyne Bath, COO – OXGENE recently outlined OXGENE’s own beginnings, how Mercia’s latest investment has helped their biotechnology business successfully scale and their plans post COVID-19.
Complete Connected Capital and investment performance
Over the last six months Mercia has seen investment levels similar to those of the same period last year. Increased levels of co-investment have in part been driven by the introduction of the Future Fund initiative but certainly, capital deployment from Mercia has not slowed down as a result of COVID-19. Mercia’s CIO, Julian Viggars, sets out Mercia’s investment highlights in a difficult macroeconomic environment.
CIO Julian Viggars
Our debt funds review
Under the excellent leadership of Paul Taberner, our debt teams have made solid progress over the last six months and despite the economic backdrop they have continued to lend, seeing some of their busiest ever weeks during September and October. The drivers behind this growth are initiatives which the Group has been working hard to bring to fruition over many months.
Mercia’s phased return across all its regional offices is not just about safeguarding our team, it is also borne out by the need to reconnect and engage with colleagues. During the pandemic we have continued to grow, with 10 new employees joining us over the period. We continue to work hard to make sure that new and existing team members can operate remotely and meet within our COVID-secure offices.
It has been remarkable how Mercia as a business has grown during these strange times, with many of the team commenting on how they have been able to get to know employees better during this period of remote working. This, in large part, is down to the excellent work of our managers and our People and Talent team whose collective initiatives are to be applauded, and that were reflected in a recent employee survey providing a Net Promotor Score of +44 with culture and communication scoring very positively, both internally and against our external benchmark.