Edison Growth Conference 2024

Edison Growth Conference 2024

The inaugural Edison Growth Conference was a tremendous hit. The event brought together a dynamic mix of over 120 clients, investors, industry peers and members of the press for a day of thought-provoking discussions and productive networking.

The first panel explored disruptive technology and AI. AI is certainly the fastest and possibly one of the most significant technology transition cycles of the 21st century. We have already seen significant value created but, with the proposed takeover of Dark Trace, UK markets are currently underexposed. This is despite the fact that the UK is one of the global leaders in the space, ranking third across a number of metrics behind the US and China. The UK investment community needs to find the appetite, expertise and structures to support innovative AI businesses through the scale-up phase and benefit from the significant value which could be created. To do this, attitudes to growth and risks need to be reassessed.

Up next was a fascinating discussion titled ‘2024 – the year of M&A?’ After a two-year bear market, where global M&A dropped from $5tn in 2021 to $2.5tn in 2023, we are seeing signs of a recovery. M&A activity is being driven by a more stable financing environment, pent up demand and strategic requirements to shift business models to meet the mega-trend challenges and opportunities from areas such as AI and decarbonisation. The panel shared how they capitalise on these opportunities in different ways, from BB Biotech in Healthcare, to Mutares, which focuses on turnarounds, to Oakley Capital, a listed PE firm operating in the consumer, technology and education sectors.

The final panel covered decarbonisation. The need to fund the decarbonisation of the global economy is a critical issue. The requirement for this remains strong; in a recent survey, only 6% of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change scientists believed the Paris climate agreement target of 1.5 degrees in global warming would be met (with half anticipating at least 3 degrees). The panel discussed issues including the current markets, policy initiatives, the difference of price versus public valuation and the challenges of funding the growth needed. They drew on contributions from a broad section of the renewables industry, including wind (Ørsted), solar (Foresight Solar Fund), Marine Fuels additives (SulNOx) and broader sector investment (Premier Miton Global Renewables Trust).

As the panel discussions took place, companies were hosting one-on-one investor meetings in the great hall. These personalised consultations unlocked valuable facetime between companies and investors exploring attractive investment opportunities.

The event’s success was a testament to the knowledgeable speakers, the engagement of attendees and the seamless execution by the entire Edison team. This inaugural Growth Conference set the bar high as an enriching annual experience for companies, investors and thought leaders to unite and exchange transformative ideas.

Plans are already underway for an even more impactful second edition in the year ahead. Stay tuned for more.

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