We have 3 investment portfolios:
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Reflecting on the year just ending, my mind kept returning to the experience of cooking on an open fire in the middle of nowhere, South Africa. I was there, a clueless Brit with my meat and my foil-wrapped potatoes. A friendly Afrikaner wandered over and asked me which spice-mix I was using. I looked blankly back at him and he rolled his eyes and went to get his.
By the following evening, he and his friends had decided that we were helpless innocents and needed to learn about cooking in the bush. My family and I were invited to join them, and we were introduced to the magical world of the ... ∞
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For 10 years I underwent a process of losing my hair while I sought finance for the (then) loss-making social business that I co-own with my brother. Between 1999 and 2009 we raised £3.5m of equity and £3m of debt to fund the growth of COOK.
The reason that it was a stressful process was that the business needed venture capital, but our social goals didn’t. Despite many discussions with VC funds, we could never align our respective objectives. We learned that their fund mandates required them to exit the businesses that they invested in, and this meant that by taking their capital we would put our company on a transaction ... ∞