The diary: Unicorn’s Fraser Mackersie

Fraser Mackersie, is co-manager of the Unicorn Free Spirit fund. His diary runs from 24-30 June 2013

Mark Neale

Monday The week starts with market updates from a number of our investee companies and the morning quickly disappears as we digest the new information and gather some of the broker views.  There are no major surprises and we look forward to catching up with a number of these companies later in the week. After a busy morning I have a more relaxed afternoon planned – I am going to the Wimbledon to watch the tennis for the first time.  It is the opening day so there is real buzz about the place.  Our tickets are for Court One where we see a big upset as Rafael Nadal goes out in straight sets. It is a great first experience and I will certainly be back.


Tuesday In the morning we meet an analyst from a broker who covers a sector that I do not have a huge amount of exposure to.  As always with these meetings I manage to pick up a large amount of information in a short space of time and come away with a few new ideas. In the afternoon we have meetings with Trifast and Porvair – two relatively recent additions to the Unicorn UK Smaller Companies fund.  The meetings go well with both companies looking in good shape.


Wednesday In the morning we catch up with another investee company, Lo-Q, which is held in the Unicorn Free Spirit fund.  With the busy summer season yet to kick off, and interim results historically only representing about 12-15 per cent of annual revenue, we spend a fair amount of time discussing its recent acquisition of Accesso, a US-based ticketing business. We have two further meetings in the afternoon with companies held in two of our other funds.  The first business has had a slightly tough start to the year and the focus of the meeting is very much around its ability to achieve full year market expectations.  The second meeting of the afternoon is with a company called James Cropper, the specialist paper and advanced materials group, which is held in the Unicorn UK Income fund.  I had personally not met the company before but it’s a good meeting and I come away impressed.


Thursday Following quite a few meetings in quick succession over the past couple of days, this morning gives me the opportunity to catch up on some admin and look at a couple of new ideas I have been working on. In the afternoon we meet with the management team of a potential new investment.  It is an impressive presentation from a highly cash generative business with a good dividend yield and it looks like a realistic candidate for a couple of our funds.


Friday In the morning I meet the management team of another potential new investment, this time in the technology sector.  It is the first time I have met the company and they present well.  I monitor technology companies closely and in the Free Spirit fund I often look to identify and back long term secular growth themes in this space.  The company I have met this morning appears to be a good fit. Mid morning we take a conference call with one of the holdings that announced results on Monday.  It ia a useful call and although the company is currently enduring tough market conditions they remain a market leader in a highly specialised field.  With the share price hovering at a depressed level it looks increasingly like a potential takeover candidate.


Saturday My wife and I travel to stay with friends who have recently took the plunge and moved out of London to a small village in Berkshire.  The weather is fantastic and we attend the local summer fair and end up in a nice country pub in the evening.  

Sunday We travel back to London for a BBQ at friend’s house in Hackney.  When I first moved to London I stayed in the area so it is good to be back and to see how much it has changed.