Fund Manager’s Diary

Monday: The week starts early with the team briefing. This is our weekly forum where managers, analysts and economists share plans and outlooks: a useful time for examining outcomes and hearing various thoughts on the week ahead.

One key concern shared by the team is the state of the American equity market. The consensus is that it is on the brink of breaking through the 2002 lows. We also discuss opportunities which are becoming evident in some asset classes.

I go straight from the team meeting to see the manager of the loan fund I hold. He is reviewing loans that they had ­previously passed on, which he says – at current levels – will prove to be attractive investments.

It is a productive meeting. This is a manager, team and investment process I have faith in. The return profile of this market is notable.

Tuesday: Meet with the new manager of one of our global bond fund holdings. He was previously the alternate manager on the fund, and brings significant experience. I am comfortable with him at the helm and am reinstating the fund to a “buy”. As an aside, I will miss the meetings with the previous manager.

The afternoon is spent in a client meeting discussing the performance of their investments and the outlook for the global economy and markets.
Wednesday: Meet with a new distressed convertibles fund – a topical area. While the fund is interesting, the two-year lock-up prevents me from investing.

I pass this on to our alternatives team, as the fund is promising but not right for me.

Thursday: I spend the morning meeting external managers, appraising their fund performance. Meetings like these are essential. I am able to explore, and at times interrogate their views on how they expect to perform in this market. We remain comfortable with the performance of these managers, and expect their funds to do well.

Thursday is rounded off with a social engagement in the evening, when I catch up with an old university friend who is in town for a few days.

Friday: I spend a few hours revisiting meeting notes from earlier in the week. I look for any issues I did not raise but need to, and review strategies and performance. The afternoon is positively spent screening fund ideas for the Fitzwilliam Strategic Bond fund.

Although we prefer investment grade corporate bond funds to high yield bond funds, I think it is a good time to start screening high yield funds to identify up-and-coming managers in the space. I expect some exciting opportunities to emerge later in the year.

The day is interrupted by my monthly trip to the barber’s. This is to the great amusement of the women in my team, who seem to believe that I spend more per year on my hair than they do.

Saturday: Take a scuba diving refresher course for my upcoming honeymoon. I am joined by a beginner who can not regulate his buoyancy and amuses me by bouncing all over the pool.

Sunday: It is always pleasant to end the week enjoying a lazy lunch with some friends. Spend the rest of the day wrangling with the seating plan for my forthcoming wedding – and I thought office politics was tough…