A transformative year: Celebrating 12 months of growth for The Seventy Ninth Group

Natalie Bellis, our CEO, takes us on a journey through the last 12 months at The Seventy Ninth Group as one of the fastest-growing asset management companies, detailing our unprecedented growth, achievements and key milestones.

The past twelve months have been an enormously exciting time here at The Seventy Ninth Group. We have managed to weather unprecedented economic turmoil to firmly establish ourselves as one of the UK’s fastest-growing and most innovative asset management companies.

Most importantly, we have done so while retaining our commitment to embodying an ethical and community-driven spirit, remaining true to the company’s roots as a family business even as we expand to a global scale.

I’m grateful to have been able to witness this amazing growth first-hand, having joined the group as Head of Compliance at the start of 2021. Just one year later, I was appointed the group’s Chief Executive Officer, and I could not be more excited to be in this position at such a pivotal time for the company, as we look toward an exciting future for our team and our investors.

But as tempting as it might be to keep our eyes on the path ahead of us, it’s also important to celebrate how far we’ve already come. That’s why, in this post, I’ll be highlighting some of our major successes of the past year, from our various awards and achievements to our efforts at contributing to local communities.

Expanded investment opportunities

Looking back over the past twelve months, one achievement in particular stands out: the establishment of the Seventy Ninth Experienced Investor Fund (EIF). Not only does the Seventy Ninth EIF mark a major new investment offering, but it also symbolises the Webster family’s ongoing commitment to remaining at the forefront of the asset management industry.

The Seventy Ninth EIF is a private equity fund specifically designed for experienced investors and high-net-worth individuals, offering them exposure to lucrative assets in the UK property market while maintaining an equity position in the fund.

The EIF is authorised and regulated by the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC), an agency that is committed to the highest standards of regulatory compliance. This includes ensuring that the EIF directors have the necessary skills and experience to manage the fund – something that we’ve taken extremely seriously. That’s why we’ve appointed a number of industry-leading figures to help oversee the fund, including Andy Cole CBE, a near-fifty-year veteran of the civil service with extensive senior experience at HMRC.

The establishment of the EIF is a deeply significant moment for the Webster family’s innovative approach to asset management, demonstrating their continued commitment to providing the most robust and secure investment opportunities for a diverse range of investors.

Alongside this major new investment offering, our existing provision has also continued to develop rapidly. Our natural resource division, now renamed Seventy Ninth Resources, has significantly expanded its access to concessions in West Africa, securing a range of promising sites in the Republic of Guinea’s resource-rich Siguiri Basin.

Meanwhile, the residential arm, Seventy Ninth Luxury Living, has seen similar expansion over the past twelve months, offering our investors access to significant new residential opportunities. The Ivy House development in West Lancashire, for instance, will see a stunning countryside property in the exclusive Scarisbrick area transformed into three luxury homes in a highly desirable location.

New faces, new places

This rapid expansion of our investment offerings has been matched by the growth of the business itself. We’ve pursued ongoing recruitment across a range of roles internally, as well as seeing greater recognition of the Group’s achievements in the media and across the industry.

Over the past twelve months, our team has grown from 4 to 26, adding a wide range of expertise to help drive our continued expansion. Among the many significant additions to the group’s roster, the appointment of Gill Newman as Chief Operations Officer signals our commitment to seeking out the most experienced and capable talent in the industry to ensure we continue to lead the way in regulatory practices and risk management.

As you might expect, with such a wealth of exciting new talent joining the business, the problem of finding space for everyone became a major issue. As a result, in late 2021 we relocated our UK HQ to Southport Business Park, a highly sought-after location offering 7600 sq. ft of luxury office space across two floors.

And this growth has not just been restricted to our UK-based operations. The Websters’ ambitions are global in scale, and that’s why in April they launched their UAE-based capital markets division, Seventy Ninth Global.

The launch event saw key figures from The Seventy Ninth Group’s award-winning board of directors on hand to share their expertise – including myself! I was honoured to be able to take part in this exciting moment for the business and can’t wait to see how our global division flourishes over the coming years.

All this internal growth has not gone unrecognised. We were able to attract significant press attention for a number of key successes across the year, from our acceptance into the UN’s Global Compact initiative to our ongoing efforts at creating a diverse and inclusive workplace and continued expansion of the business into new regions.

And this recognition has also extended to award success: in 2021, we were the proud winners of the Outstanding Growth Business Award at the Global Business Excellence Awards and the Best New Business Award at the Best Business Awards.

Continuing to give back

The past twelve months has not just been about the group’s internal growth and development – it has also been marked by a continued commitment to supporting the wider industry and the communities of which the group is part of.

In May, our investment director Curtis Webster sponsored the Young Business Person of the Year Award at the Echo BusinessLive Regional Business Awards 2022. Curtis was on hand to present the award and noted that his own experiences as a young entrepreneur made sponsoring the award “an easy decision.” We’ve also sought to support emerging stars in the local region, including sponsoring Scarlett McMahon, a talented female footballer who recently made her debut for Wales Women’s Under-17s team.

As well as sponsorships, the group has also looked to give others within the industry the benefit of its extensive specialist knowledge. The group’s chairman David Webster, in particular, has taken opportunities to share his insights into the property and resource markets, delivering a seminar at the Property Investor Show in London and making an appearance on the Dig Deep Mining podcast.

The ethos of giving back has always been at the heart of our approach at The Seventy Ninth Group, and as Seventy Ninth Resources has expanded its concessions in West Africa, this has continued to guide its activities. As part of our stringent ESG policy, we have committed to regenerating an entire village in the region, providing access to healthcare and education and offering well-remunerated employment to local inhabitants.

Closer to home, we’ve also been active in fundraising for a range of local initiatives. Alongside six other staff members, I took part in a sponsored pledge to run, cycle or walk 79 miles over the course of July last year, helping to raise £1500 for Claire House Children’s Hospice. We have also pledged a £200 monthly contribution to support the vital work of the local Southport food bank Compassion Acts.

Looking to the future

The past 12 months have seen incredible progress for all of us here at The Seventy Ninth Group, but this is only the beginning. As the business continues to grow and the momentum builds, 2022 is shaping up to be a banner year in which The Seventy Ninth Group is firmly established as a global leader in asset management – and I am thrilled to be in a position to contribute to this goal. I’m incredibly excited to see what the next 12 months has to hold!

If you’re an investor who’d like to join us on this exciting journey, get in touch today and find out how we can help you.