Fund Manager’s Diary

Thursday I was fortunate enough to be invited by one of our investment trust brokers to the cricket at Lords for England’s first test against Sri Lanka, and even more fortunate that the sun shone all day and that England’s batsmen put on a great performance. These events are useful to chat informally with the other guests who, like me, are investment trust anoraks. I had to leave the cricket early to get to the AITC annual dinner at the Dorchester, where more conversation about investment trusts prevailed, interrupted only by Lord Coe’s inspiring presentation about the London Olympics bid.

Friday After yesterday’s entertainment it was back to the serious business of interviewing fund managers. Running multi-manager portfolios requires an insight into a wide variety of asset classes and the three meetings today consist of a UK small-cap fund, a global technology fund and an absolute return structured product. Each of these funds looks interesting and may find its way into our portfolios at some stage. On the train back to Exeter I call the office to see how the markets have fared and find the long-overdue correction has started.

Weekend My wife and I take our two young sons to our neighbour’s house to join some friends for the FA Cup final and a barbeque. A thoroughly deserved win for Liverpool was only soured by the children being upset by the excessive shouting and hugging coming from four grown men surrounding the TV. On Sunday I played only my second round of golf this year, followed by an afternoon out on the bikes with the family – trying to teach my five-year-old, Joe, to ride without stabilisers is going to take longer than I thought.

Monday Get in early to run through our proprietary systems to analyse the carnage in the investment trust sector. We have adopted a cautious stance for the past couple of months – allowing cash to build up, reducing some high beta funds and increasing hedging across the portfolios. I decide to step back and not rush in, although some of the discounts available have not been seen for some time. I decide to write up my notes from last week’s meetings to distract me from the red on the screen.

Tuesday Our own investment trust, the iimia Investment Trust, is aiming to issue more shares to increase its size and liquidity, and therefore make it more accessible for investors. While my colleague and lead manager of the trust, Nick Greenwood, has been on the road for the past few weeks, my role is slightly more mundane. I have been helping the solicitors with the prospectus and other connected documents. Then I am off to Exeter airport to catch an evening flight to Edinburgh for another set of meetings tomorrow.

Wednesday In the morning I attend Winterflood’s investment trust seminar, where a good line-up of managers present on their respective trusts. After lunch it is off to Martin Currie to get an update from Scott McKenzie, manager of the UK Equity Income fund, an open-ended fund we own in a couple of our mandates, followed by a meeting on the group’s new Global Alpha fund. Then to Aegon to catch up on my investment in the Global Bond fund, managed by a team headed by David Roberts. They are not too optimistic for capital gains from bonds so I set off to the airport relaxed about my low weighting in fixed interest. A phone call back to the office is a gloomy affair as markets have had another bad day. My flight leaves at 8.25pm, although I do not get the usual smile greeting me onto the plane as I have kept them waiting after managing to watch some of the first half of the European Cup final.

• Daniel Lockyer is a fund manager at iimia. His diary runs from May 11-17.