The business was established with the express intention of opening up the world of investing in early stage companies, which has historically been the domain of institutions and business angels, to the private investor.
Traditionally, private investors were only able to look at companies for investment when they reached the listing stage (generally through an initial public offering). Typically, long before going public, most private companies would have received expansion capital through various sources including banks, fund managers, venture capitalists etc.
Involvement at these private rounds of financing often offers the highest risk/return on investment.
The Directors of Sentient have access to a wide variety of companies in most sectors and with no geographic or demographic boundaries. They have, over more than 40 years cumulatively in the city, built up vast networks of contacts. It is from these networks that we source our corporate clients but are selective to the point of normally only offering an average of four opportunities per year. We are independent and thus free to choose opportunities based on nothing more than their potential.
Chief Executive Officer
Jim is a fully qualified Chartered Wealth Manager with the Chartered Institute of Securities & Investments. After starting out with Friends Provident in 1991 he has worked for a number of private client Stockbrokers, including a three year period trading commodities (base and precious metals and currencies). Jim is well versed in multiple trading techniques and strategies across a variety of products. He has been a main board Director for one of the UK’s leading independent private client investment houses and currently sits on the board of a Buckinghamshire based independent financial advisor.
Neil has been involved in the financial markets for 25 years. He began as a tied financial advisor with Prudential before moving into the fundraising arena.
He worked overseas twice, firstly with an American commodity brokerage and then with a European equity company before returning to the UK and becoming a founding member of a private equity company in London that opened up the world of private equity deals to the private investor. He has been involved in numerous private equity deals over the last 20 years and has acted as both a client advisor and corporate consultant. He has worked in commodities, equities and structured investments however he has predominantly been involved in tax efficient and private equity investments. He has worked with EIS qualifying companies throughout his career and considers this and pre IPO situations his area of expertise. He also runs his own marketing company.
He has been regulated for the best part of 20 years. When not working his interests are his children and motorsports.
After graduating in law in South Africa, he was employed as in-house counsel for a government department at Board level, before being headhunted to the management consulting industry abroad where he soon became employed as a strategist for a large diversified conglomerate, tasked with taking them global.
Gradually the focus shifted to corporate finance. During this time, he became the Founder-Chairman of the South African Business Chamber in Korea, where he engaged initiatives with various key industries and government. He remained with the chamber for several years. Since moving to the UK in 2008, Kobus has been in corporate finance full time, advising on M&A, listings and international transactions and projects. He holds a Bachelors in Law; Honours in Management and a MBA (Finance) and a Diploma in Risk, Governance and Compliance.