It's been almost a year since I last made it to a ShareSoc company event and I don't know where the time has gone. We don't get a large number of years to play with as it is so it's rather alarming to see one disappearing so quickly. Nevertheless it was great to return and meet some new companies. Going into the seminar I only knew SDI in any depth but coming out of it I now have a few more plausible investment opportunities to consider. Hopefully these brief notes will serve to explain my interest and general belief that meeting management is very positive when approached rationally.

Dx (group) (LON:DX.)

Five years ago DX Group floated on the stock market and for the first 18 months business seemed, more or less, to be stable. Then, in November 2015, the doors were blown off by an awful warning and both profits and the share price are yet to recover from this calamity. After a couple of years the largest shareholder Gatemore had had enough and, with the company on the brink of collapse, they drove through a wholesale board refresh while supporting a critical fundraising effort. At this juncture Lloyd Dunn became CEO with Ron Series lined up as Chairman along with Russell Black and Paul Goodson as NEDs (roles that they retain today). The key aspect to these appointments is that all of the directors had decades of experience in the transportation sector and had worked together previously (notably in the turnaround and sale of Tuffnells Parcel Express).

So shareholders lucked out with this Dream Team of a board and still it's taken over two years to sort out the mess. As Ron Series pointed out a large part of the problem was that DX floated on the back of an integration strategy and that flat-out didn't work. Instead the board have driven the recovery by devolving authority downwards, to the area level, while making operational improvements, funding an investment programme and working to create a stable balance sheet. Now local managers make decisions and deal with local customers in whatever way meets their needs. That said Ron Series was very clear that they hadn't just cut costs - instead they want to handle freight at the right price (previously much was loss making) and focus on areas of potential…

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