In the Company of Mavericks

Jeremy McKeown has fascinating conversations with entrepreneurs who dared to be different.

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October 18, 2023

Edward Ziff of Town Centre Securities

This episode was recorded on September 21, 2023.

For today’s episode, I am joined by the private investor and host of the Desert Island Investor podcast, Mark Atkinson, for a conversation with the Chairman and CEO of Town Centre Securities, Edward Ziff

Edward is the second-generation custodian of the family business with a rich history largely centred on the City of Leeds. 

Edward talks candidly about the challenges of managing a small listed real estate company in which his family holds a controlling stake. He discusses the difficulties of attracting outside shareholders and how modern norms of PLC life often run counter to the cherished traditions of personal relationships often prevalent in family-owned companies.

Edward is not a first-generation entrepreneur managing growth and holding a tiger by the tail. First and foremost, he is trying to preserve capital and generate income for an increasingly dispersed group of family and friends while meeting the requirements of a modern listed company. 

Despite navigating the financing pitfalls of the global financial crisis and the COVID pandemic, Town Centre Securities is left today as something of a stock market relic, trading at less than half its assessed net asset value, reflecting its small size and lack of institutional appeal.  

As Edward says, running a small listed family business is exciting and depressing in equal measure.

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