Fund managers diary

Will Landers is the manager of BlackRock’s BGF Latin America fund and the BlackRock Latin American investment trust. His diary runs from September 13-19.


A relatively slow start for what promises to be a busy week. I attend a 6am boot camp class at the gym in Princeton, New Jersey, where I live with my family. I am sitting at my desk by 7.40am ahead of our daily global video call, which starts at 8.40am.

I spend most of Monday preparing for the Deutsche Bank GEMs [global emerging markets] conference, which starts on Wednesday and lasts for three days in New York City, but also have an interesting catch-up, via phone, with one of our small-cap holdings later in the afternoon.


After an early work-out, have a meeting with a Canadian-listed company with all its operations on Colombia. Later in the day meet a sell-side analyst to discuss the massive Petrobras offering coming the following week. In the afternoon, continue to prepare for the conference tomorrow ahead of an early dinner with colleagues. (article continues below)


Have some internal meetings and tape a video message for an upcoming gala dinner for BrazilFoundation, a not-for-profit organisation that raises money in America for educational and cultural programmes in Brazil. In the afternoon, have five meetings with companies from Latin America at the Deutsche conference – positive view on Brazilian banks and homebuilders reinforced.


Full day at the conference – eight meetings with companies from the region, and I use the lunch break to run to my dental hygienist (could not move the appointment again after rescheduling twice already). Highlights from meetings were the continued strength in Chile’s economy as well as the Brazilian consumer.


An easy day – only seven company meetings. For some reason, today’s meetings are concentrated in the financial sector, and the financial sector in Brazil and Peru continues to do fine. Loan growth is strong and asset quality continues to improve. After my meetings, I catch an early train home and we are able to have an enjoyable family dinner.


Ever since my wife and I had our first child, I have taken our children to breakfast on Saturday mornings so that she can do as she pleases. She usually gets up early and goes to the gym. This is called our Breakfast Club, and membership is conditional on the child’s ability to walk on their own. Every Saturday morning my four children and I head for breakfast, get a chance to catch up on the week, and have a good hearty meal.

After lunch, we drive down to Baltimore, Maryland to spend the night and go to Camden Yards to watch the baseball game between our favourite team, the New York Yankees, and the Baltimore Orioles. The stadium is right by Baltimore Harbour, which is walking distance to our hotel, and we have a great time.


After a quick breakfast, we meet friends who live in Washington, DC at the Baltimore National Aquarium. We see amazing fish, including the large sharks and watch a film based on BBC’s Our Planet. We also see a live dolphin show, which is fun.

After that we have lunch and hit the road for our three-hour drive home. Ever since they decided to put video screens in cars, these trips have become a lot smoother. We had a great weekend in Baltimore, but sleeping in your own bed is always the best.