Galvin at Windows is certainly no pub. The sleek Mayfair restaurant offers fantastic views across the city and luckily for us, it’s a nice enough day to enjoy them. Tilney Group’s Alena Kosava has chosen the venue and meets me for this week’s instalment of ‘Pub Club’.
‘Mayfair has a real village feel to it’ Kosava, who is a Mayfair local, tells me and her choice of venue certainly carries an air of pre-emptive nostalgia. Tilney’s central investment team is due to move from its Chesterfield Gardens office imminently and into a new facility, based in New Street Square off Chancery Lane.
‘The new office is one of mid town’s tallest buildings and offers incredible views both east towards the City and west. On the face of it, there will be plenty of opportunities to keep fit – some suggested running up and down the stairs during the lunch hour could substitute for Hyde Park jogs!’
However, an eastbound investment team is not the only change that Kosava is keen to fill me in on.
A brand spanking new business card - accompanied by its predecessor for comparison - arrives from across the table. Luckily for me, Kosava is more than happy to talk me through the companies new branding.
‘The ‘T’ within our new logo, signifies the power of the Tilney Group, while the bird denotes the client’s financial freedom. The logo is unique and represents the bond between the Tilney Group and the client.’
‘We have come such a long way in a short space of time; it really feels that we are entering a new chapter, which is very exciting.’
As our starters arrive and I attempt to stave off my envy of my host’s choice, conversation moves on to Kosava’s role as an equity fund analyst.
Given increased responsibility following the merger with Towry, Kosava looks after the IA UK all companies, income and small cap sectors. Since 2016 was such a rollercoaster year, I am keen to gauge her outlook for the sector.
‘Within the UK sector there are a number of talented managers who are able to deliver consistent outperformance almost regardless of what is happening in the wider economy and the political landscape,’ she tells me.
‘Liontrust Special Situations is one example where the fund held up very well during 2016, producing attractive returns despite the challenging macro backdrop and a relatively large allocation to mid and small caps within the strategy.’
She continues: ‘They don’t use excuses, which is very pleasing!’
Our main courses arrive and as I (once again) wonder why I didn’t just choose the same as my host, talk turns to British geography.
Originally from St Petersburg, Kosava moved to London 15 years ago and studied at the University of Westminster.
Although currently based in London, thanks to the expansion of Tilney Group, she has been afforded ample opportunity to sample many of the UK’s cities while visiting the regional offices.
‘As the company grew and we established our presence across a number of regions, our engagement with regional offices has improved significantly. I have really enjoyed this part of my role – it is great to meet new people and explore new locations. But not only that – it is also hugely beneficial for us to hear their feedback.’Though she admits these trips can sometimes end in disappointment. ‘I went to Blackpool a couple of years ago and thought I was going to see the sea! To my disappointment, the tide was miles out!’