The vast majority of entrepreneurs I meet would be far better off in a job – they would earn more, work less and endure less stress. (Location 120)

Through Jeremy I learned about acquisitions and exits. I learned about distressed acquisitions, deal-making, fund raising and wealth creation. (Location 136)

The one thing that I also discovered about Jeremy is that he takes people with him. He collects entrepreneurs and he helps them to solve their challenges and play a bigger game. (Location 138)

He’s fair, generous and intelligent in his dealings – although he does swear a lot and people have commented on that! (Location 140)

A deal that would create more than 20 millionaires within two months, be recognised as one of the most successful IPOs in 2016, and redefine what’s possible for relatively small privately held companies. (Location 156)

The “Agglomeration” that they created changes the game for anyone who owns a profitable, seven-figure business. (Location 158)

This is how the big guys have been winning in business for the last 100 years. Until recently these structures and strategies were only viable for companies with $100 million+ in revenue, but thanks to technology the time has now arrived for entrepreneurs to play and win this way too. (Location 163)

If you’re the owner of a small or medium business and you’re successful, you have probably found yourself with the problem: how do you get to the next rung on the entrepreneurial business ladder – how do you go from being a business runner to a business owner? (Location 194)

But here’s the problem – even though an entrepreneur might have the idea and the passion, they are normally kept poor and don’t have the money. Governments, banks, private equity companies, and venture capitalists try to keep them perpetually poor to keep control. (Location 217)

The common thinking is that the people who make money are intrinsically evil and must have taken the money from somebody else. (Location 224)

Talk to anyone in Investment Banking and Private Equity and they will tell you that you need to keep the entrepreneur hungry if you want them to keep working. (Location 234)

With a long career in entrepreneurial mergers and acquisitions, Jeremy Harbour developed a new model: Agglomeration. This book explains the model and how it can be used for business owners around the world. The book is co-authored with his business partner, Callum Laing. These are two entrepreneurs who have focused on helping business owners to be more successful through unlocking the value in their shareholding. (Location 253)

Jeremy and Callum work backwards from what makes a company valuable to an investor and how the entrepreneur can use that knowledge to double or triple the value of their company. (Location 257)

Plenty of people who become entrepreneurs expect part of the deal to be more money and better lifestyle. However, most entrepreneurs end up paying themselves last3. Most people go into business thinking that it’ll give them more time and more money, but it takes up all your time and all your money. (Location 334)

In essence, it’s not being an entrepreneur that makes you the money. It’s having a combination of traits and tendencies, as described in the study, Does Entrepreneurship Pay?6“… as teenagers scored higher on learning aptitude tests, exhibited greater self-esteem, and engaged in more aggressive, illicit, risk-taking activities. The combination of strong labour market skills and ‘break-the-rules’ tendencies accounts for both entry into entrepreneurship and the comparative earnings of entrepreneurs.” (Location 360)

You need to understand the distinction between customer value and shareholder value. Of course you should be interested in customer value, but the customer that you should be thinking of is the person about to buy your business or invest in your business. (Location 434)

A lot of people think they’ve been in business for ten years when actually they’ve been in business for one and they’ve just replicated that year ten times over like a bad case of groundhog day. The next step on the ladder is to be a business owner, not a business runner. Being a business owner is about being strategic. (Location 458)

Our definition of strategic in business is that your meetings on a daily basis are to do with somebody you are buying a business from; with somebody you’re selling your business to; somebody you’re doing a joint venture with or somebody investing in the business. (Location 464)

Building a business from scratch and growing it organically is painful – with the blood, sweat and years involved often far outweighing the reward. (Location 474)

process. I realised none of the companies that pitched me were going to give me money up front, which got me thinking about why couldn’t I just go out and do the same thing: buy a business without any capital upfront? It was this idea that drove me to buy another telecom business. (Location 495)

Ever since I bought my first business I have suggested to every entrepreneur I can that they should go through the process of buying a business. Even if they have no money and no ultimate desire to own a new business. (Location 505)

When you meet an owner that is trying to sell their business and is sharing their due diligence with you, it is only then that you start to see that beneath the shiny veneer their business has all the same problems as yours and maybe a few others that you have already sorted. (Location 510)

It’s worth knowing that every business is a bit rubbish. It doesn’t matter what particular part of your company is struggling at the time you want to sell; every business owner has something that they’re not too proud of, and if they don’t the lack of humility makes them unbearable to spend any time with. (Location 514)

In my book, Progressive Partnerships, I rail against entrepreneurs calling themselves a start-up. What’s coming out of this ecosystem, this echo chamber, is how cool it is to be a start-up. (Location 564)

Entrepreneurs get tied up in terrible legal agreements, telling them what they can and can’t do, to cover for those idiots who don’t know how to run a business. (Location 600)

I find it really depressing. You’ve worked for the last ten years building a business and you sell it for just $260,000? Only an impoverished reporter would see that as a fair exchange of value for building a business. (Location 633)

If they value your business at 2.6 times last year’s profits, they are making the bet that your business will perform as well as it has last year and that in 2.6 years time they will have their money back through dividends and will still end up owning a cash generating asset. (Location 639)

That might be the obvious thing to focus on, yet surprisingly it is rarely what seasoned business owners focus on. Anyone who has been around the block a few times will know just how hard it is to get even a small percentage increase in profits and so is much more likely to focus on trying to change the multiple. (Location 644)

If value is the result of profits x multiple, you can focus on profits or you can focus on the multiple. (Location 656)

One of my more recent epiphanies comes back to the way that you view business. I’ve already explained how I came to understand the difference between customer and shareholder value as I acquired another business. (Location 693)

As an example, if a public company is trading on the stock market for ten times net profit and they use their shares to acquire another company for five times net profit, they then add that company into their balance sheet. (Location 696)

In effect they have just made money by buying another company. The more profit they buy, the more valuable they become. (Location 699)

However, when you begin to understand how public market valuations work and you see how much wealth creation goes on at the other end of business, where the investors, banks, VCs and all those guys make their money, and most entrepreneurs know nothing about, it’s a real eye opener. (Location 704)

In effect you create new shares, you acquire a company and as far as the market is concerned your revenues and profits keep growing. (Location 707)

The French bank, BNP Paribas13, did an interesting study trying to find out how the 7,000 high net-worth business owners actually got their money. (Location 757)

Generally, the safest way to become entrepreneurial is to buy an established business with customers and cash flow and then grow it into a great business. (Location 761)

The problem with management is that it doesn’t work! In fact most management books I have read in the last fifteen years are all about how the modern hierarchical management structures just don’t fit with the current generation of talent. (Location 783)

I have gone full circle on the question of getting synergies when you do an acquisition, born out of my own hard won experience; I now believe, post merger, that less is more. (Location 814)

You could also do a merge and list (IPO), the listing giving you the liquidity in the shares and reason for the mergers. Why would people join a merger unless there was some visible future way out? (Location 823)

The downsides are that the average IPO costs $3.7 million, takes eighteen months and ties up your entire senior staff for the last twelve months of the listing process.14 (Location 832)

The upside of doing an IPO is that it’s still your company. It’s the entrepreneurial dream to grow your business to a point that you can IPO yourself. For a lot of people, if they have the ambition to one day end up on the public markets, the conventional wisdom is that you do it yourself. (Location 834)

As a business owner how do you create the best value and wealth from your business? Do you sell, or do you leave it under management? A lot of people had good businesses that were ‘keepers’ back in 2007/2008 that simply don’t exist anymore because of the Global Financial Crisis. (Location 905)

Raising money for smaller businesses is really hard, there is a huge sea of capital waiting to be deployed into businesses, but small businesses just are not big enough or de-risked enough to attract it. (Location 932)

Although they were successful they lacked innovation. They tried to solve that problem by acquiring a couple of young innovative companies. (Location 966)

Agglomeration takes the best from each scenario and makes it work for investors and entrepreneurs alike. (Location 994)

As I explain in Progressive Partnerships, we are moving into an era of collaboration not competition. I am convinced that the single biggest asset you have in a business is your ability to understand and execute successful partnerships. (Location 1010)

To agglomerate is “to form a cluster”. The word Agglomeration was first recorded in use in 1774 – so it’s been around a bit. (Location 1015)

Agglomeration is a powerful concept in economics which refers to the phenomenon of firms being located geographically close to one another. These days, with technological advances, geographic Agglomeration make less sense. (Location 1017)

But interestingly a geographically diverse Agglomeration of small businesses can make a lot of sense. Our Agglomeration is a methodology or model created to solve a number of problems entrepreneurs face in growing their business and adding value, by which we mean shareholder value, or what the business is worth at the end of the day. (Location 1019)

All of the member companies share a common holding company – they continue to run their own business in their own way, but with a consolidated Profit & Loss (P&L) and balance sheet in the parent company, giving them the scale to point to when pitching for contracts, as well as the geographical coverage and the product diversification of their fellow companies. (Location 1028)

Any one of the companies in the group can now point to the group balance sheet when they are pitching for business. Any one of the companies can now point to their sister companies if they need to show they have an international presence, or specific expertise or experience. (Location 1035)

The best answer we have found to succession planning is to find an entrepreneur like you, running a business like yours, acquire them and let them and their existing management team manage both companies whilst you sit on your yacht looking at monthly reports and sipping cocktails. (Location 1043)

Each business is a silo within the group, so there is limited liability for each business unit, but with publicly listed stock it is easy to go and acquire a similar business to one of the silo businesses and bring in their management team, creating easy natural succession without having to sell out. (Location 1046)

Having public stock is a game changer for small business owners. As well as being able to actually track their own personal wealth in real time, they now have a viable currency with which to attract senior staff to join them and help them grow. (Location 1060)

bit. It creates financial freedom for the business founders. The fact that they are all in the same boat creates cooperation on driving share value and the timing of share exits – it is in no one’s interest to dump stock, so it happens in a more orderly fashion. (Location 1063)

Your actions have direct correlation – a dollar saved is multiplied in the company’s valuation, an extra dollar of profit gets the same multiplication, and every one of the founders around the boardroom table has that same motivation. (Location 1070)

We also have a dividend policy so all companies in the group issue dividends, which means that the founders get income from their shares so they don’t have to sell them to get money. This is also a powerful mechanism for attracting outside investors – profitable, debt free, dividend paying small cap companies are rare beasts indeed! (Location 1072)

Each of the founders now has a new currency, the PLC stock, which they can use to go out and acquire new businesses to help them grow. (Location 1079)

The Agglomeration de-risks you first and then you can enter new markets. You can enter new markets while you’re sitting around the table with a bunch of people that know those markets and the ups and downs of being involved in them. (Location 1084)

Sometimes business owners are fearful about getting into bed with strangers – well, who wouldn’t be? We focus on making sure they are not too strange, but we also remind people that instead of having $1m worth of shares in their own business (if they sold it all today), they now have $1.5m of liquid shares (for illustration purposes only) shared across a number of debt free, profitable businesses, so they get a portfolio approach to running their own business. (Location 1087)

The Agglomeration is a great way to join the huge amount of capital in the world with the SME sector. We create vehicles big enough and interesting enough to attract the capital and liquid shares so that they can come and go from their investments. (Location 1097)

Under an Agglomeration, the business owner remains 100% in charge of their business, the brand stays the same and there is no external interference in what they do. They (Location 1104)

As entrepreneurs ourselves, we were never particularly good at taking top down direction and we assume the same is true for the entrepreneurs we work with. (Location 1109)

As nothing really changes operationally there is no boat rocking to scare off the key people. What’s more, the founders are in for the ride to keep working and growing so the most important people are all still around. (Location 1115)

With the Agglomeration you can now use the publicly traded stock to attract new hires and give them the freedom to have a significant role in your small company whilst rewarding them with stock in what is effectively a large multinational. (Location 1120)

One of our pet hates is the ego-driven roll-up where the investor tries to centralise everything including the brand. It’s like filling a bath with a sieve! So much of the value gets lost in the process. (Location 1123)

Under this methodology each CEO now sits on a Non-Executive Board of directors, as well as running their own company. (Location 1129)

The only remit of the Non-Executive Board is to find ways to collaborate to save or make money. So nothing forced, just an open agenda to save a dollar or make a dollar by working together. (Location 1133)

We also put in place an equity incentivised Executive Board to comply with the markets we are listing on. They are market-facing and include people in compliance, legal, communications and a chairman, plus some industry specific appointments. (Location 1136)

This is one of the pieces about collaboration that some people get stuck on. If you have traditionally hated a competitor it is only natural that the idea of inviting them to join you in an IPO might seem counter-intuitive, but the reality is that if you are going to lose out a pitch to a competitor, wouldn’t you rather that money was still going to drive up your share price? (Location 1169)

This model was devised by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs, to fulfil their potential, take back their lives and drive their own destiny. It is much (Location 1175)

Monopolies are like babies: they’re really ugly until you got one of your own… (Location 1180)

The US advertising and marketing services industry includes about 37,000 companies with combined annual revenue of about $111 billion. The industry is fragmented with the top fifty companies generating about one-third of revenue. (Location 1187)

We chose marketing services because it’s very fragmented. What we realized was that a lot of the smaller businesses are all facing the same problems: (Location 1190)

They’re doing ok, but not sure what to do next They’d like to expand They’d like to do more business with bigger companies (Location 1192)

Most of the companies that we came across were looking to raise money to grow, so they were talking to equity companies, to VCs or private investors. In effect they had all the same problems we have outlined already. (Location 1194)

We identified around thirty companies which are all being run by people that were winning awards, were leaders in their fields, were profitable, debt free and doing interesting work. We then picked four of them, based on who got their shit together first (“shit together” being a financial term for getting us their basic due diligence). (Location 1204)

The Agglomeration model works best when you have a good spread of companies. Four is not enough, but it is easier to list with four and create the public limited vehicle and then reverse the other businesses into them. (Location 1207)

We’d noticed that there was a dip in emerging market currencies in 2015 which was impacting the liquidity on certain exchanges. The SGX in Singapore and the ASX in Australia were affected. People saw the currencies as being quite a risk and therefore weren’t investing in the stocks that were traded on those exchanges because of the additional currency risk associated with it. (Location 1214)

The secondary markets are often viewed as a stepping stone to a main market, but more often than not they’re a gravestone, not a stepping stone. If you end up there because of the lack of liquidity in a stock, you can’t do the acquisitions, can’t raise the money, can’t do all the things that you expected to be able to do once you were on that market. (Location 1220)

Added to the secondary market problem, legal costs and compliance costs in America are just on a different scale. What you can do for five thousand Euros in Europe, costs a hundred thousand Euros in America, even for the same work. (Location 1224)

There’s a nice market called the Euronext in Paris which can suffer from liquidity problems and tends to be for smaller companies. There are a few markets in Germany that are good for tech companies, but they can also suffer with liquidity challenges. (Location 1227)

We ended up going for NASDAQ OMX, which is the main Nordic market. It covers Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland, and has Euro denominated stocks listed on it. It’s a main market so you’ve got very big companies on there like AstraZeneca, which is a fifty-billion-dollar company, and H&M which is the second largest clothing retailer in the world. (Location 1229)

Joining the NASDAQ OMX on the first rung of the ladder, which is called First North and then moving up to their main market is a much quicker, and ultimately cheaper, process. (Location 1238)

What we realized was that companies in Europe doing well in Asia are always worth more than companies in Asia doing well in Europe. It’s a bit like the equivalent of the rock and roll band cracking America in the 60s and 70s. (Location 1244)

Now the reason for using a UK PLC is that there are no withholding taxes for our investors, so it means that people from Asia and the US can invest without withholding tax; so we can attract capital from East and West, in a friendly way. (Location 1248)

The UK-based PLC became the holding company for the initial four subsidiaries, which were a UK-based video production company and three Singapore-based companies. (Location 1253)

Then there are another thirty companies wanting to join. We’ll probably get to a board of directors, the board you couldn’t afford, of twenty companies by the time we’re finished. The twenty companies would have a projected market capitalization of three hundred million euros and we will have produced around thirty millionaires as a result of our activities. (Location 1297)

The Marketing Group is a true 360 digital agency. Instead of trying to create a business that has only one real specialism, The Marketing Group aims to provide the full spectrum of services to its clients. This is done by utilising revolutionary product silos with market leading talent and services to provide specialism in every aspect of marketing services. (Location 1308)

It’s evolved a lot along the way. We had to resolve corporate governance, and answer the question of how you control twenty completely independent entrepreneurs. Actually the answer is you don’t. What we’ve found in business over the years, and particularly from trying to do mergers where you stick two companies together, is that you get the best results when you give control, not when you take it. (Location 1316)

When you let them get on with it, they tend to find really great ways of solving all your problems and making everything work. Give them control and everything gets better. (Location 1320)

We have a founders’ charter that was designed by the heads of the companies. We made them sit around a table and come up with it themselves. It covers how they deal with issues in the business, how they vote for things, etc. They get complete autonomy over their own business. (Location 1327)

Part of the deal is no one will ever tell them how to run their business. They can continue to run it exactly the way they always have. The constitution is a completely live document that can be voted on and amended by majority vote at any board meeting by the Executive Board. (Location 1328)

An Agglomeration. We also looked at succession planning because obviously some people want to exit their business, so we help them come up with a path which gets them to the place that they want to get to. (Location 1343)

Then once they join our group, they become reinvigorated because all of a sudden they’ve now got this big balance sheet to point to, so they can go and pitch Unilever and say, we’re a three-hundred-million euro marketing company – and they’ve actually got a chance of winning the Unilever contract. (Location 1346)

We created a share bonus scheme that means if companies over-perform, they can get additional shares. Effectively it re-balances the books. When you’ve got twenty companies, with ten of them doing really well and ten of them not doing so well, it re-balances the shares a little bit, so the ones doing really well get more shares. (Location 1349)

This is an evolving model, as all the best models are. We are looking at even more ways to make this Agglomeration model work for ambitious entrepreneurs. We don’t think we have everything perfect, yet! (Location 1370)

Under our agreement with the founders, they could have the opportunity to do a management buyout in those circumstances – a poison pill. (Location 1374)

We are thinking of building in this poison pill to protect the business owners, so they can continue enjoying this way of life that we’re creating for them, with autonomy over what they do. (Location 1377)

The Marketing Group PLC is an acquisition vehicle with the purpose of gathering successful marketing businesses under one roof. On 8th June 2016 we announced our Initial Public Offering (IPO) on Nada First North Stockholm; the investor memorandum can be found on the website along with regular PR updates. The consolidated group supports the subsidiaries with management and coordinating activities as well as a common operating platform. (Location 1383)

Any entrepreneur with ambition will secretly harbour the desire to ring a market bell on their own IPO. Largely symbolic, it is the moment when your business, your baby, gets to walk on its own two feet in front of the whole world. (Location 1398)

After countless delays and false starts, we flew all four founders and the full board of directors to NASDAQ in Stockholm to ring the bell and announce our listing to the world. (Location 1401)

We knew our concept was great, and we knew that as we continued to add strong businesses to the group, the share price would naturally climb. But would investors understand that on day one? Had the road-shows, the conference calls, the endless pitching been enough to shift the share price in the right direction? (Location 1404)

We started it in June 2015 and listed it in June 2016. We think in future it’s a five- to six-month process if we really nail it down, but obviously with the first one we’ve spent a lot more money and time getting the fiddly bits sorted. We needed to make sure that it’s compliant with NASDAQ. We’ve learnt a lot. (Location 1415)

The average IPO takes eighteen months and costs $3.7 million and you have that massive distraction of management time. The advantage of an Agglomeration is that we take over the cost and all the management time, and the founders just provide us with the information when we need it. (Location 1418)

We can do it all for less than half the price of a normal IPO and we underwrite it so the companies don’t pay anything until they join the group. (Location 1421)

Most businesses are small businesses; for example, in Singapore, 99% of people are employed by a small business, if you exclude public sector employees. (Location 1432)

Governments create tax loopholes and attractive tax environments to draw businesses to their countries to do business. They know full well that even if they are not collecting corporate tax they are still collecting tax on the rent that company pays, on all the salaries that company pays, on every supplier invoice, etc. (Location 1438)

Effectively what we do with an Agglomeration is round up a whole bunch of these small businesses and make them friendly to capital, because now all of a sudden they have the scale, the reduced risks through the portfolio approach and the liquidity of being publicly listed. (Location 1458)

Investment bankers are dying to get us on a private jet, flying around Europe to meet all these institutional investors so that we can get them to invest in our project and of course we’re not. We drive them crazy because it’s where most of their money’s going to come from. (Location 1474)

We’re an equity partner with all of these companies, so as an equity partner, we can drive this whole process through. We do the fundraising, the legal due diligence, creating the information memorandum, the meetings with NASDAQ, all the cross-border M&A stuff. (Location 1478)

Never underestimate the power of the group of founders, they are The board you couldn’t afford: there when you need them, but without any control over your business. (Location 1533)

It creates a much deeper level of discussion. You suddenly get that community that understands you and wants you to be successful. (Location 1536)

If you’re exiting, you want as much money as possible. If you’re raising money, you want as big a valuation as possible because then the money that you raise has less of a diluting effect on your equity. You’ll really try and inflate the value. (Location 1570)

With an Agglomeration, because we don’t have to exit and because we don’t have to raise funds, we can be super realistic about the price. We’re creating buoyancy under the stock price. (Location 1575)

If you’re valued on a multiple of profit, that has a driver on fundamental value. Margin improvement and sensible supplier agreements that improve sales all increase profit and drive value. (Location 1580)

You can do capitalizations, where you take what were previously costs and turn them into assets on the balance sheet. You can do this for research, development and intellectual property. (Location 1583)

For example, the Agglomeration model has companies in lots of different silos and that’s a risk-reduction method, which is helpful for driving fundamental value. (Location 1585)

From the market side value is derived from more liquidity. If you have a high volume trading stock, a stock that lots of people buy and sell, it encourages more buyers into the market because they know it’s going to be relatively easy for them to sell. (Location 1589)

Stocks have analyses done on them, with buy, sell, hold ratings attached. Most people don’t realize that unless you’re a very big company you have to pay the analysts to analyse your stock. (Location 1595)

If you can pay for an analyst to do a report then that will help, effectively translate that to the wider audience for them to understand what’s going on. (Location 1599)

Another way to help the market side of valuing your IPO is voting a dividend. There’s a point in the lifecycle of a business, where it issues its first dividend, which is normally a watershed moment in terms of its maturity. That attracts a lot of investors. (Location 1603)

Or ending up on the observation list. NASDAQ has an observation list for companies that are not conforming to all of its rules. You don’t want to be on the observation list. (Location 1606)

NASDAQ has a minimum requirement of 10%. If there’s not enough freely tradable stock then you create squeezes in liquidity and when you have the squeeze in liquidity, when no one can buy and sell, it can have a temporary uplift on the share price (Location 1608)

We priced The Marketing Group on approximately nine times last year’s earnings whereas a lot of our peers are priced on fifteen or sixteen times future earnings – what they might do next year based on forecasts. (Location 1614)

It was a bit of a gamble but we think the real gamble is to try and oversell yourself on your future performance, because then you’ve actually got to live up to it. (Location 1616)

If we did inflate the price and the market turned, for whatever reason, it would make the next set of acquisitions much harder to do. (Location 1620)

In a long-term platform, like an Agglomeration, it’s much better to price things fairly and make some real money, not the flash in the pan money. (Location 1632)

In answer to the first worry, most companies when they go to market the traditional IPO route, are looking to either raise funds or to exit. In order to do so they massively inflate the value of their business. They say next year their company will do amazing things, because they want to do a bigger valuation, that way they have to give away less. (Location 1640)

With an Agglomeration it’s completely different. We list for what it’s it worth because we don’t need to raise money. All the companies we work with are debt-free and profitable. (Location 1644)

We don’t have to inflate the price. We can go in at a very fair price. In fact, we choose to go in lower than market rate valuation because for us the Agglomeration that is listed is now a vehicle to buy other small companies. (Location 1647)

the majority of the stakeholders are the shareholders themselves. They have a lock-up period and they’re incentivized to keep hold of their stock. (Location 1651)

So you end up with a stock that is as debt-free as possible – the share price should be going up because you’re using that in order to acquire new companies. (Location 1654)

However, the fundamentals of the group – debt-free, profitable and geographically diverse – and the high dividend yield, make it attractive to hold, which should mean that the stock price doesn’t have a negative dip. (Location 1658)

The Agglomeration model works where you’ve got a fragmented market with lots of small businesses that are probably run by talented people, but have reached their current potential. (Location 1680)

We often meet companies that have been talking to other companies for three or four years about merging, but ego often gets in the way. (Location 1682)

Do the numbers. Under our model, companies need to be profitable, debt free and audited. This is a model that’s suitable for the top 10% of small to medium sized companies, not necessarily everybody. (Location 1688)

Choose a jurisdiction that is transparent, easy to deal in, and is tax efficient to use for the holding company. For The Marketing Group, we chose the UK. At the time of writing this is good for investors, it’s an easy and transparent jurisdiction, well-respected in the world so people have a reasonable degree of comfort with being part of a UK company being governed by the UK Companies Act. That choice is a luxury we have by being a global company. (Location 1696)

One of the temptations is to shortcut the process and just join companies into your own company. One of the reasons for having a holding company that sits above all of the companies is there’s a neutrality. (Location 1707)

A company has got to give 100%. A lot of companies ask if they can do 20%, sort of dip their toe in the pond, but it doesn’t work. The holding company has to have 100% of the subsidiary companies in this model. It puts everybody on the same footing. (Location 1714)

Now you’re a listed stock, good news updates drive interest in the shares. Issuing your first dividend is a watershed moment in the life of any stock, it will create a shift away from speculators to investors in terms of the profile of your shareholder. (Location 1719)

Don’t engage corporate finance and investment banks until you have a ready to list vehicle with all the documentation, all the audits and all the virtual data ready. You don’t engage any professionals until you’re right at the last yards of the race. (Location 1727)

Make sure the founders understand exactly what’s going on. Good communication with the founding companies throughout the process is key. Constant reaffirmation of the process. Remember, you’re discussing this every day and they’re not, so you need to communicate. (Location 1729)

Don’t run out of money. It’s going to cost you more than you think. (Location 1732)

Make sure that all the founding companies are going to pass their audits before you involve them in the group, because involving them in the group and then waiting for the audit can be fraught with danger. (Location 1733)

One lawyer told their client, “Absolutely don’t do it.” That cost their client three and a half million euros. This was not a securities lawyer, so the advice to that company was unqualified. (Location 1739)

This whole Agglomeration process can function without lawyers and accountants. Yes, you need audited accounts and legal sign off on the stuff to do with the IPO, but you don’t need it for the sale and purchase agreements. (Location 1742)

Many good things in the world come from an entrepreneur’s innovation and ability to make stuff happen: diseases have been cured, solutions to the world’s transport and ecological problems have been discovered, Facebook was launched(!) – all these solutions have been and are being driven by entrepreneurs. (Location 1758)

To be a wealthy, successful entrepreneur you don’t need to invent the next unicorn business; leave that to the kids. We believe that if you can help good, debt-free, profitable businesses grow from one million to ten million, or ten million to a hundred million, you’d make a far bigger contribution to the world. (Location 1769)

Every time we do an Agglomeration, 1% of the shares gets put into a charitable trust in the name of the company, to be overseen and managed by somebody worthy. We work with the Buy1Give1 organization – – that helps small and medium sized businesses achieve more social impact by embedding giving activities in their everyday business operations. (Location 1772)