Film Investment

Film Investment

Film Investment

At ACF we are agnostic about investment sectors, we pride ourselves on finding a specialist in the team. Our Business Development Officer, Zee West, has depth of knowledge and contacts in film investment as well as fintech over and above her day job with us. Below she shares her views, insights and what she enjoyed or not, at Cannes’s film festival 2018.

Normally at this time of year I’d reserve every morning in France for a good walk to the local bakery to buy a delicious croissant and smell the sweet scents of summer flowers in the air, that is, except this is Cannes, the beautiful French Riviera Cote d’Azur town that is the centre of the film industry for about a week in May.

The future of film investment is still very much up for debate and my trip to Cannes’s film festival this year did nothing to change my mind about that.

What I do welcome are the effects of Crowdfunding and Blockchain, which are leading to a democratisation of investment in film. This type of funding is, in one way or another, helping to drive home issues such as equal rights, and equal pay and equal distribution for women. In music Imogen Heap (British songwriter, band member, electronica musician, record producer and audio engineer) has, arguably, already achieved these goals, so why shouldn’t women in film follow her model?

I also continued to observe the tech giants flying, now jet-propelled, into the space. Whilst –  Netflix, Amazon and Apple are fighting it out to be the most sort after leaders in content provision, they are being joined by tech founders creating production companies, such as Participant Media…why? Because silicon-valley tech innovation is finding its way into the film space at a pace I have not seen before and pushing an industry rapidly to the forefront of technology adoption – Film is an industry that, in my view, has been notoriously slow to move, both socially and technologically (film loves old tech and adopts new tech slowly, which is how its distribution model go turned on its head before the film industry barely even woke up).

Controversy and politics were heavy on the breeze – #MeToo Campaign continues to take no viral prisoners and 82 women protested on the red carpet. These protesters were creative, assertive, influential women from all over the world making their marks in the sand against gender inequality.

@Netflix came back fighting after falling out with the festival organisers last year over cinema release rules and the pertinence of its Cannes offerings, which lead to an element of festival culture clash in 2017.

We had some fantastic business meetings held at New York New York with newish, London based, independent film investment platform Horizons (launched a £10m production fund for indie film makers in 2017) As ever it was a great opportunity to catch up with producer contacts and, not “as-ever”, to discuss bitcoin at fashionista parties, which also gave me a chance to view some of the 90 metre yachts we are looking at for venues for events at Cannes 2019.

My film review notes – (a very welcome perk of my job)

A handful of noteworthy (for better or worse) films premiered including Terry Gilliam’s The Man who killed Don Quixote. For the hipsters – Under the Silver Lake @UndertheSilverlake, was a return to the postmodern neo-noir classic Hollywood take on pop culture – as far as I could tell it had a bit of a Marmite effect on the viewers. For sci-fi fanatics such as your author here and our MD, Solo A Star Wars Story…did very little to enthuse any audiences.

A few stand outs included Spike Lee’s Black Klansman and the emotionally heavy but beautifully shot Cold War – a biopic of sorts loosely based on the director’s parents’ lives in Poland; Girls of the Sun a true story told from the eyes of a young Kurdish woman leading a battalion to take back her town from extremists; the mysterious Shoplifters – a Japanese film, unfancied, but took a Palme d’Or – the judges were very taken with the ending. @Shopliftersfilm.

The House that Jack Built @TheHousethatJackBuilt was welcomed with mass walkouts, probably because Lars Von Trier insisted on making references to items that made him persona non grata at Cannes in 2011 and also, because well, it’s Lars Von Trier being provocative. And maybe, as the theory of auteur suggests, he was really voicing his own opinions about women and in this film that would probably make Von Trier a misogynist, at best.

 

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Christopher Nicholson, Managing Director, ACF Equity Research

Christopher Nicholson

Managing Director/Head of Research

I am a financial analyst, entrepreneur, professionally qualified equestrian and amateur eventer. Amongst others, I trained as a financial analyst at Global US based fund manager Legg Mason Investors and have been head of Technology and Media Equity Research at Bryan Garnier, a pan-European investment bank and brokerage.

I founded ORACA Independent Equity Research a ground breaking highly independent thinking large-cap secondary comm business and ACF Equity Research, a very high-quality independent issuer-pays small and mid-cap research business. I opened our first corporate finance business (Destrier Partners) and am approaching the launch of our first non-financial services business. In my view, I am only able to do these things because of the quality of the team I work with at ACF. For 11 years I broadcasted as an expert guest and wrote regularly in the leading pan-European and international media including Bloomberg Television, BBC Radio 4 and the Financial Times.

I studied Biochemistry at Kings followed by Economics at LSE and can conduct business in English and French, I speak German and have basic knowledge of Spanish and Italian. My free time, which I make sure I carve out, is in part each day spent on my passion – riding, competing with and caring for my horse(s).

 Mike Wort,Non-Executive Chairman, ACF Equity Research

Mike Wort

Non-Executive Chairman

I have managed over 20 IPOs in the US, UK and Europe from small to large cap, I am proud to be ACF Equity Research’s Non-Executive Chairman.

I am also Executive Chairman of Texadon Oil Plc focussed on oil & gas production in the Texas Gulf Basin and is a Non-Executive Director of UK AiM listed Diaceutics, a diagnostics commercialisation business. I am a life sciences communications expert and have a background in large and mega cap pharmaceuticals.

During my more  thann  20 IPOs and secondary raisings I have brought in well in excess of £600m.

In addition, I have co-founded a number of life science start-up companies in Europe and the USA.

I am a life science communications expert and former life sciences CEO (large to start-up). He graduated in microbiology and lectured to science undergraduates in both the UK and Nigeria. He joined the pharmaceutical industry, working in a number of senior sales, marketing and clinical roles for Glaxo, SmithKline and Wellcome in the UK and overseas.

Appointed IR Manager for Wellcome, I helped organise its global roadshow for a £2.4bn secondary offering.

I have consulted on and conducted M&A and DD in the life science sector and developed disaster recovery programmes for SME companies.

I worked with Deutsche Bank to privatise the Bulgarian pharmaceutical industry. As the CEO of Balkanpharma, I led the consolidation of the three key assets into one cohesive unit. Balkanpharma has, through a series of M&A activities, become a significant part of NYSE listed Allergan.

Formerly MD at De Facto Communications, Bell Pottinger’s healthcare offering, I recently retired from Walbrook, the UK’s most successful SME PR/IR agency.

 

Amalia Barnoschi, Head of Operations, ACF Equity Research

Amalia Barnoschi

Head of Operations

Joining ACF at its founding I started in financial services in 2007 on the sell-side with ORACA, a large-cap independent equity research business that changed the industry. Before financial services I was a highly successful and rapidly promoted young manager in manufacturing and have worked closely at board level for over 15 years with SMEs in the City and in other financial markets.

I co-run ACF with our MD, as Head of Operations, responsible for driving profitability and developing and designing processes and managing projects for ACF and for client partners to allow our portfolio of businesses to grow. I am bilingual English/Romanian, read Italian and am working towards my accountancy ACCA qualification with AAT.

I love to relax by making time for my favourite out-of-hours activity – photography – taking my first formal nature course in May 2018. I have a keen understanding and interest in horses, though not a rider, this is combined with a life-long love of polo.

Anne Castagnede, Head of Sales & Strategy, ACF Equity Research

Anne Castagnede

Head of Sales & Strategy

I am a sales professional with a top-tier luxury goods background. In the past 5 years I managed flagship boutiques as well as working for some of the great Haute Couture houses including Chanel and Jimmy Choo, where I established a reputation as a top performer by developing, maintaining and offering information and guidance to new and existing clients.

I have researched, recommended and implemented service opportunities as well as improvements. In the early days of my career I trained with Air France and later with Chanel. On my journey I acquired management skills from back office through to front office and have a high degree of practical IT literacy.

I know from personal experience that passion leads the way to perfection and my will to learn matched with my sales ability will result in clients being in very capable hands. My bilingual languages are French and English and I speak Spanish. Off-duty my passions are languages and art.

Renas Sidahmed, Sales & Strategy / Staff Analyst, ACF Equity Research

Renas Sidahmed

Sales & Strategy / Staff Analyst

I am a macro-economic and financial analyst, linguist, mathematician, professional dancer and chef. I worked for four years with the IMF, two and half years with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and eight months with the World Bank in Washington DC.

I also wrote award winning research notes and met with senior politicians with varied global and local interests in both wealthy and less developed economies. My sector expertise includes natural resources (particularly oil & gas) healthcare, manufacturing, infrastructure and investment portfolio management.

At ACF, as part of my staff analyst role, I am also Head of ESG / Sustainability and its products and services.

Before joining ACF Equity Research, I worked with Japan’s second largest brokerage, Mitsubishi Bank, in the London office. I speak six languages including English (native), Italian, French and Arabic and obtained an MBA in Rome and a Mathematics degree from a sister Ivy League – Smith College. I joined ACF because of its entrepreneurial, female friendly City culture, overarching global values and excellent growth prospects.

Anda Maria Onu, Sales & Strategy, ACF Equity Research

Anda Maria Onu

Sales & Strategy

I have strong analytical, planning and execution skills, I love working as part of a team both inside ACF and externally with our clients and prospective clients.

I am used to working with and within senior leadership teams and understand the needs of small and medium sized companies through my current and previous professional experience, I graduated in life sciences with a specialisation in Ecology and Environmental Protection in Romania in 2007 and for my first job I worked in a laboratory carrying out chemical analysis of industrial waste-water.

I am passionate about the environment and work as a volunteer for the Sussex Wildlife Trust doing conservation work at the Old Lodge nature reserve. In my spare time I am a school governor and have been a juror at the Royal Court of Justice. My hobbies are dance, horses, swimming, opera and theatre.

Zak Mir, Technical Analyst, ACF Equity Research

Zak Mir

Technical Analyst

Zak Mir has 30 years financial markets experience and understands credible influencing across digital channels in order to drive stock liquidity. He is an accomplished author.

I am part of ACF’s advisory and execution team helping growth companies (nano, micro, small and mid-cap) maximise their profiles to achieve the optimal investment message.

Amongst others I have worked for Man Group companies, Berkeley Futures and Sucden. I have been a technical analyst, derivatives broker and Chief Market Strategist for a number of brokers in the retail space developing and optimising client trading strategies. I ran the well-attended annual Master Investor conferences and am a keynote speaker at the UK investor show. I also host the CityAM Podcast.

Analytical communications is part of my forte – I have variously been a markets columnist, editor and commentator for influential retail financial information outlets, amongst others – Investors Chronical, Yahoo! Finance, Shares Magazine, international leading long-form periodical The Spectator, CNBC and Bloomberg TV.

Away from the markets, I am a song writer and musician and have a long and patient interest in politics – areas that continue to be potential additional professional careers.
I was attracted to ACF because of the effectiveness of its high quality research and its forwarding thinking culture.

 Anthony Kimber, Senior Analyst ESG / Sustainability, ACF Equity Research

Anthony Kimber

Senior Analyst ESG / Sustainability

I have considerable experience in the wealth management and private banking industries. I am co-author of the Platforum UK Wealth Management Market Overview report, and previously was Research Director at PAM Insight, a specialist publisher for the wealth management industry. I engage in research and analysis both qualitative and quantitative and am an experienced project and business development manager. I have been commissioned by UHNWI's, companies and organisations for various bespoke projects.

I also contribute to major news and media organisations, compiling and analysing data and research for the Daily Telegraph and Evening Standard on national government and environmental issues. Prior, I contributed to the Guardian, the Spectator, BBC news and investigative programming, the Sunday Times, and the Sunday Times Rich List.

My interest in ESG and sustainability is focused on raising awareness and achieving practical and workable solutions to the climate crisis we are facing. I enjoy spending my free time with family and friends, watching cricket, theatre and film.

Richard Calvert, Director, Distribution & Service, ACF Equity Research

Richard Calvert

Director, Distribution & Service

I’m a Modern Marketing Strategist with a strong CXM, digital transformation and innovation background working with global blue chip clients, modern creative and media agencies and start-ups.

I put people, data, technology and brand at the heart of everything I do – always delivering highly creative and effective integrated solutions with engaged, excited teams. I believe in taking everyone from the Account Exec to the C-suite client with me on the journey.

I work with Global clients as easily as entrepreneurial start-ups across a broad range of categories from Automotive to FMCG, Financial Services and Technology. My recent focus has been on Digital integration; Relationship Marketing; Content Planning and Brand evolution.

Specialties: Strategic Planning, CXM, Digital and Business Transformation, Programmatic Marketing, Proposition Development, Content Planning, User Experience Development and Design, Mobile, Consumer Insight Development, Brand Planning and Development, Information Architecture and Design, Business Development, Digital Channel Strategy Development, Brand Development, CRM Strategy and Delivery, Business Development

Vicky Ryce, Director, Research Distribution, ACF Equity Research

Vicky Ryce

Director, Research Distribution

I am a digital communications and distribution specialist and strategist used to board level decision making. I started my career as part of the ground-breaking young cadre that for a short exciting time formed the original Text 100, and whose members have gone on to lead and influence thought in digital communications.

During my career I have worked with world leading agency Publicis and counselled the C-suite of some of the world’s biggest public companies, including Philips, Xerox and Microsoft, on how to improve their communications reach and then helping them execute. I also work with smaller and mid-sized private and public companies on the FTSE 250 and below. I am as comfortable dealing with retail reach, as with corporate and institutional capital markets distribution strategies.

I am an equestrian, proven entrepreneur and charitable volunteer and when I can cut out the time, I help young adults via the Princes Trust. I am an English and History graduate with an MA in Media and Culture. ACF Equity Research has a determined problem solving, enlightened forward-thinking capital markets culture and a global values set.

Adrian Chiappe, Editor, ACF Equity Research

Adrian Chiappe

Editor

Adrian has over 20 years investment research writing, editing and supervisory analysis experience for leading investment banks including Barclays Capital, UBS, BNP Paribas, Jefferies, S&P, Danske Bank, ABN Amro, Lombard Odier and Bear Stearns.

He has a deep understanding of his subject. Adrian has executed editing and supervisory analysis for investment banks, brokerages and fund managers. He has up-to-date knowledge of the operational and regulatory framework for international institutional equities markets. Adrian is a materials scientist and has languages