Monday This is the “core day” in the office, when we catch up with what everyone has been up to. Being fund of funds managers we are constantly talking with fund managers to select the best funds and assist us in formulating our investment strategy. I report back to my colleagues on recent meetings in London with European equities and specialist gold fund managers. In the evening I speak to Andrew South, a fund manager in New Zealand who looks after the New Zealand investment trust with me. We discuss his recent investment trip to Australia and possible new ideas for the fund.Tuesday I speak to Ian Beattie, the fund manager of New Star Pacific Growth. Ian took over the management of Exeter Pacific Growth two years ago, and I have been working with him ever since to make the most of the fund’s investments in closed-ended funds. We agree to cut the fund’s weighting in Thailand and slightly increase exposure to Taiwan. I speak to my CIO Nick Greenwood to discuss several deals that I’m in the middle of. We decide to take advantage of strong demand for income growth investment trusts to trim exposure at slim discounts to their net asset value. Wednesday The day starts with a conference call with the managers of a planned new launch, T2, a specialist technology fund managed by US corporate financiers that aims to provide a high yield from financing a small portfolio of European technology companies in their development phase. It is a higher risk fund but fits into the “pro-tech” theme we introduced into our funds after the April sell-off in markets. I phone New Zealand in the evening and act on Andrew’s advice to reduce our holding in Telecom NZ and keep a bit of cash in the portfolio after a good recent run in the market. Thursday One of my roles is to write iimia’s quarterly investment strategy covering all asset classes. It is important to get this right, so I spend much of the day working on the draft to be ready to discuss it with my colleagues next week. After work I meet a friend for a round of golf – I will have to straighten that slice out before the Winterflood golf day. Friday Richard Lockwood, the fund manger of City Natural Resources and New City High Yield, two of our favoured funds, pays a visit. Richard is doing a fine job with a couple of colleagues in a specialist niche. I am reassured by the meeting, having recently added to the holding in Richard’s fund after the sell-off hit small resource companies’ share prices. We hold several funds managed by experienced managers who have left large institutions, and have found that most have done well with the extra freedom a boutique gives. Weekend One of the great things about being a fund manager in the West Country is all the fantastic places on your doorstep. On Saturday I visit Branscombe with my wife Ros and two daughters for a walk down to the beach, followed by a pub lunch. Sunday is my birthday, but my focus is on other things as the curate of our church – a good friend – leaves today to move to his own church in Preston. I have to give a speech to more than 300 people – harder and a lot more emotional than speaking about financial markets! Afterwards I head off to the driving range to straighten out that slice. I get a call from my brother Ted, who is the Stewardship manager at F&C, and once the birthday greetings are out of the way we discuss our views on the markets. It’s on the phone again to New Zealand in the evening as, unfortunately, their working week starts on Sunday our time.
Richard Scott is the manager of the New Zealand investment trust and iimia Growth & Income fund. His diary runs from 4-10 July.