The increasing significance of merchant banking is one of the radical changes the banking sector has witnessed over the years. Unlike traditional banks that provide regular banking services such as savings and chequing accounts to their clients, merchant banks are popular for offering a range of consultancy-driven services to commercial and corporate entities. Modern merchant banks can do anything from advising on near or long-term corporate strategy to helping position a private company to go public on a stock exchange.
While a merchant bank’s purpose was to facilitate and finance the production of trade and commodities historically, modern merchant banks like GreenBank Capital operate primarily by providing capital and advisory services to companies in exchange for share ownership and Board positions.
Established in 2013, GreenBank is committed to building a 21st-century merchant bank whose mission is to identify and invest in undervalued exponential growth companies with an aim towards achieving consistent capital appreciation for its shareholders. Listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange, the Frankfurt Boerse, and on the OTC markets in the USA, the company boasts a diverse investment portfolio and thrives upon assuming key advisory and monitoring roles in the majority of companies in which it chooses to invest.
GreenBank is currently led and managed by Terry Pullen (CEO). He joined the company during a particularly critical time in its history. GreenBank’s founder and visionary had unexpectedly passed away a short while earlier. After an ephemeral period of frenetic adjustment, the company’s remaining board members endeavored to find an experienced business consultancy firm with an entrepreneurial flair that could help guide GreenBank through its next phase of growth.
The quest came to an end with Substantia Group—a brainchild of Terry that delivers property and business consulting as well as designs and builds planning advice and communication services across the United Kingdom. In August of 2020, GreenBank announced that it had signed a contract with the Substantia Group to assist its executive management team in fundraising, investment deal-flow analysis, due diligence, strategic planning, administrative and operational support, and marketing and investor communications.
Having consistently demonstrated his business acumen as one of the Director of GreenBank, Terry ascended to the role of CEO earlier this year. He quickly put his own unique stamp on the company whilst positioning it favorably for further strategic growth moving forward. His entrepreneurial mindset, blended with his ample experience overseeing finance, marketing, and corporate strategy has proven to be the perfect elixir to help deliver GreenBank’s ambitious corporate goals.
GreenBank has revolutionized the industry in two ways—first, by focusing on the often-neglected small-cap space and also by providing an innovative ‘public company’ merchant bank model whereby anyone interested in GreenBank’s collection of portfolio companies can gain exposure by making a single investment in GreenBank. Instead of being exclusive to one particular industry or ‘hot sector’, GreenBank chooses to invest in companies with strong management teams already in place who have demonstrated the innate drive necessary for their companies to succeed.
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our lives in many ways. In response to the global pandemic, GreenBank has made a concerted effort to be both nimble and aggressive. Despite its overall negative impacts, the pandemic has given rise to numerous new inventions and created ample business opportunities as well. One such example is GreenBank’s recent investment in Beelivery, one of the United Kingdom’s market leaders in on-demand grocery delivery whose business has seen in an uptick since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Leveraging our adaptive model designed to respond to these times, we have significantly grown our internal resources and investment portfolio since the onset of the pandemic,” states Terry.
Besides the recent COVID-19 pandemic, early-stage companies face several other challenges as well. According to Terry, capital raising is one of the most consistent business challenges an early-stage company faces regardless of the macro-environment or industry sector. He mentions that for new entrepreneurs seeking outside funding from sophisticated investors, the key to successful fundraising is to present their opportunity in a professionally comprehensive format—that clearly demonstrates the potential strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats the new venture faces, and highlights the strength of the management team.
“A professional deck certainly helps both the visionary and the would-be investors to focus upon the most important aspects of the opportunity. Oftentimes, even if the investor chooses not to invest, a successful presentation will often lead to the visionary achieving a solid foundation and a captive audience for any future investment pitches,” asserts Terry.
Terry believes that the most important self-reflection an investor can undertake is to assess and consider their genuine appetite for risk. According to him, it becomes infinitely easier to tailor which investments to consider if an investor is armed with a firm understanding of their own risk tolerance. GreenBank’s investment portfolio and risk tolerance effectively blend its portfolio with a combination of exciting Unicorns alongside more steady and stable investments in real estate planning projects and cashflow positive businesses.
One Unicorn investment GreenBank is particularly excited about is CodiKoat—a company consisting of a group of highly qualified nano-technology scientists based in Cambridge England who have developed a series of products providing antiviral barriers in the form of coatings, filters, masks, and sprays. It is a company tailor-made for thriving in pandemic and beyond.
When CodiKoat approached GreenBank, it was very clear in its vision and business model. Upon seeing the potential of the company to do ample good for humanity at large, GreenBank agreed to terms by which it will support CodiKoat’s essential technology in the future. GreenBank’s investment has facilitated CodiKoat to be able to exercise a high-profile pilot scheme at London’s famed Royal Opera House. On October 20th, 2021 GreenBank announced in a press release that CodiKoat had successfully completed the pilot testing of its “GoVirol” anti-viral coating product at the Royal Opera House. Armed with the very encouraging results from the Royal Opera House trial, CodiKoat is, in time, aiming to achieve commercialization of the product.
GreenBank takes pride in its support and investment in CodiKoat as one of its broad portfolio and believes that it is a perfect example of how GreenBank’s holistic strategy helps to catalyze exciting companies, ultimately making both businesses hugely promising prospects to look out for in 2021 and beyond.