Back in 2010 I invested a reasonable amount of money in a portfolio of shares in some of our quoted customers. I wrote on blog on this - The Bluefindex: Putting my money where my mouth is. My intention was to hold onto these for the long term and over time assess the portfolio with my ‘owner’ hat on. In doing so, I hoped to look at what Bluefin Solutions was doing to directly addressing the needs of the company owners.
Fast forward to today and I am at the first quarter end of my Bluefindex - and what a quarter it has been! There has been a major natural disaster affecting Japan, the Arab world is undergoing major political changes...and yet my Bluefindex is overall flat to within less than 1%!
However, this masks a wide difference in fortunes among the constituents:
An aerospace & defence company and three global brand organisations
All four have fluctuated up and down within a range, ending broadly at the same point they started, although recently the 3 global brand organisations have trended upwards. Are we helping these companies with the things that matter most to them?
With the global brand organisations: It's been about delivering insight into their internal performance and external markets - helping understand where to drive efficiencies internally and where to focus their considerable marketing might externally. So yes, both key drivers of value for this kind of organisation.
With the aerospace & defence giant: The focus for us is around people - helping them to attract, retain and develop the right talent and to ensure they have the right capabilities to grow their organisation. Not a direct driver of value today, but essential to build the capability to drive value tomorrow.
Consumer Products organisation
This has been my big win for the period. With this company, we are helping them get more from their trade promotion spend, which is clearly essential in today's marketplace. However, this has not been the main driver of the recent increase in value, which has been primarily around M&A activities. I'd like to say we helped them drive their M&A strategy...but not the case this time! Maybe tomorrow.
My big loser for the period. A company in turnaround, driven hard by the disruption from digital media. This could go either way. Are we helping them with the things that matter most? One of our partners is - the partner specialises in helping companies in transition, be it turnaround situations, transformational programmes, M&A.
It will be interesting to see what the next 3 months bring. We have a royal wedding here in the UK, an "Arab Spring" yet to play out, petrol at eye-watering prices, and interest rates that have nowhere to go but either flat or up.