Lightning in a Bottle - Keanaissance Series

Lightning in a Bottle

Written by Scott Fulton, Co-CIO and Co-Host of Keanaissance

According to several Sinophiles, the Chinese symbol for “Crisis” does not consist of both “danger” and “opportunity”. Instead, it is argued that the word is constructed from characters denoting “danger” and “a tipping point”. The latter, loose, translation implies the change assumed as positive in the former is simply change, whether good or bad.

It is apposite that danger engenders a point of change. There can be little doubt that the world is not returning to the status quo ante bellum. Rather, it appears that certain key precepts of our pre-pandemic existence have been challenged and challenged successfully.

Will our response to the Pandemic be seen in years to come as a Renaissance or another Industrial Revolution?

Etymologically, Renaissance is “re-birth”. It has come to symbolise a period during which the best of what has gone before is adapted for a “new” age. Historically, the Renaissance took place within the 15th and 16th Centuries, originating in Italy following the devastation caused by The Black Death. It is a period during which Michelangelo, Da Vinci, and Rafael produced works of art which grace our world today. Galileo, Copernicus, and Newton advanced our understanding of science to an extent still in place. If that were not enough, the Renaissance included the work of Shakespeare, Gutenberg, and Columbus, respectively providing the words, the books, and a market place for them which persist to this day.

These titans of the cultural and scientific pantheon have their reputations burnished by time. We are amazed by their creations and discoveries both absolutely and relatively. Michelangelo’s David and Newton’s Principia Mathematica would stand out in any time but the fact that they were produced before commercial electricity makes them all the more remarkable.

Today, there is a tendency to view our leading lights as standing on the shoulders of giants. Einstein is regularly rated as the most important person of the 20th Century, but his impact is magnified by the work of Bohr, Fermi, and Heisenberg. Sir Tim Berners-Lee is equally regularly described as the Father of the Internet, but he would credit the work by ARPA and Robert Kahn before him. The Foo Fighters had Nirvana and the Beatles, Elvis.

In all likelihood, we are all looking to catch lighting in a bottle but, when caught, will ascribe our success to those who came before. This modesty is made easier if it is in reaction to a crisis, be it Pandemic, war, or both. “It was the best of times it was the worst of times” still rings true over 150 years after A Tale of Two Cities was published.

Globally, regionally, locally we have all faced crises in the last two years. We face them still. The extent to which we will build a Renaissance is down to our own efforts and those who embrace the need for a revolution within our evolution.

VIVA Investment Partners believes in the renaissance. We endorse revolution. We encourage evolution. We will comment on these tenets in the run-up to our second Keanaissance event, taking place from the 2nd to the 5th of July on the Island of Kea.

Scott Fulton is an economics graduate and a capital markets specialist. From 1988 until 2000, he worked within London’s equity capital market as an Extel rated analyst in the Building and Construction sector for, amongst others, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse and ABN Amro. From 2000, Scott moved into financial public relations and investor relations (“FPR” and “IR”). He was the director responsible for IR and M&A at Financial Dynamics (now FTI), Citigate Dewe Rogerson (CDR), Just Retirement plc (now Just Group) and Asda Burson Marsteller (UAE). On returning from the Gulf in 2015, Scott re-joined investment analysis at Whitman Howard (recently sold to Panmure Gordon) before moving into Proxy Solicitation, specialising in M&A, at Equiniti plc. Through his professional career, Scott has focused on and developed skills in investor relations.

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