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‘People Stories’ – Meet Michael Sleet, Corporate Broker

‘People Stories’ is a feature with inspirational and successful business & industry influencers.

This month we are delighted to introduce…

Michael Sleet,

Managing Director Corporate Broking

Michael-Sleet

Current Role:             

Managing Director of Corporate Broking, Numis Securities

Previous Positions:

Executive Director Corporate Dealing – J.P. Morgan Cazenove

Director Corporate Dealing – Cazenove & Co

LinkedIn:

View Michael’s profile on LinkedIn

Is it who you know or what you know?

Q: Since 1982 you’ve built up a successful career in the Share Plans Industry. In your 30+ years of experience which is more important – what you know or who you know?

A: Ours is a knowledge-based and very specialist market and what you know is a given and everyone is expected to be familiar with the basics. The thing that sets you apart is who you know, and the ability to source the appropriate solution for your clients.

Best industry events?

Q: Favourite industry conference/event to attend or recommend?

A: This depends on what you do or what you are trying to sell. For me the ifs ProShare annual conference is very good – it’s an official industry organisation event and attracts all the main players.

Q: Best conference story?

A: None that I can share…!

People v Technology?

Q: Where do you think the future lies in this business in terms of people vs technology?

A: There is a role for both – technology in itself is not the ultimate solution and human interaction will still always be needed.

Q: How do you think Etrading will impact on the role of the Broker?

A: Etrading works well for smaller frequent trades but larger more complex illiquid trades need human intervention to find solutions.

Q: Are there any aspects of business that have been lost over your career in business that you would like to bring back?

A: Personal contact. Nowadays there is much emphasis on technology, which is a necessity, but it is not the be all and end all.

Personal Motivation

Q: You’ve worked at Cazenove, JP Morgan Cazenove and Numis Securities. What motivates you?

A: I thoroughly enjoy my job – I am very fortunate in that regard!

Q: What achievement are you most proud of?

A: There are many things I am proud of but there can only be one answer to that question – my children 🙂

Market volatility

Q: You’ve seen the stock markets crash and recover – what is your take on the current market situation in terms of volatility and stability?

A: Markets by their very nature will go up and down. The degree to which they rise and fall can vary dramatically based on bigger macro issues going on in the background. Its unpredictability is what keeps it alarming and exciting, all at the same time.

Knowledge

Q: Who is the most knowledgeable person in the Industry?

A: I would have to say Janet Cooper at Tapestry Compliance – she’s an industry legend and a lovely lady.

Support for Employee Ownership

Q: You have been a proactive member of the Employee Share Ownership Centre (ESOP Centre) Organisation over many years, helping to promote all forms of employee share ownership. You were also part of their International Committee. What do you believe is the value of Equity Compensation to a Company?

A: Employee Ownership brings enormous value to a company. It is pretty hard to argue against it in terms of motivation, buy-in, communication, results…

Q: Best equity compensation story?

A: My all-time favourite employee ownership story is from Harry Ramsden’s – the Fish n’ Chip Outlet. It’s the simple story of an employee shareholder who was hand cutting chips one minute then went over to the light switch to turn off some lights. When asked why he said ‘Because it’s costing us money’.  It’s the perfect analogy showing how employee-ownership makes people think and act differently.

Trends

Q: From a legal & compliance perspective, what country do you think is the most pro-equity in the world?

A: I would have to say that while the US is strides ahead of other countries, the UK has made great progress in this area over the past few years. This is thanks to the collaboration of all stakeholders in terms of building a rational business case for employee ownership, promoting awareness campaigns, negotiating successful legislative changes and implementing a means to track and report employee participation & results in employee owned companies.

Q: Equity Compensation originated in Silicon Valley & is spreading around the world. Which markets do you believe will emerge in the next 10 years?  

A: I believe India is the sleeping giant on the equity compensation globe, a huge opportunity waiting to happen.

Q: As the new generation of investors become more tech savvy and the industry evolves globally where do you see Equity Compensation in 20 years’ time?

A: Louis Kelso – pioneer of the industry  Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) – would be proud. We have come a long way in the 60 years or so since it was invented but in many ways it is still very much an industry in its infancy. Technology can only help to make our industry scalable and more refined, as well as to make plans easier to administer.

Advice

Q: What advice would you give someone starting out in the Industry today?

A: Network, network, network! And be nice.

 

Our sincere thanks to Michael for taking the time to do this interview. We wish him the best of luck with his exciting plans for Numis Securities!

 

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