François Zagamé is a portfolio manager at Skandia Investment Group. His diary runs from November 8-14.
The day starts with a meeting with our Thematic Allocation Group to go through our themes: financials and agribusiness.
While we all agree about the level of exposure to agribusiness the debate becomes more heated when we discuss financials.
We also talk about a few more potential themes for next year. One of the participants is keen on Japan. This revelation also leads to a rather agitated discussion.
Quite a hectic day as Gartmore’s Roger Guy – one of the portfolio managers in our European Best Ideas Fund – announces his resignation. I meet Lee Freeman-Shor, a joint-head of equity research and the co-manager of the fund in question, and some of the analysts to promptly decide what we will do.
We decide that the best course of action is to redeem the assets. Roger has been an outstanding contributor to the fund and his departure will be a loss. (article continues below)
I travel to Paris for meetings with two investment boutiques as we want to add a manager to our European line-up.
Both meetings go well and it seems that the decision will be difficult. One of the two managers has a high focus on smaller companies and we need to decide if we are happy with this exposure.
We make the most of the day trip and also catch up with some of our local staff on recent developments in their market. We complete an extremely good day with an amazing lunch at Brasserie Vagenende on Boulevard Saint-Germain.
Today I work on board reports as I have to present the equity portfolios performance to them next week.
The past three months have been quite volatile but we have managed to perform in line in most of the portfolios after a highly successful first half and this has helped our Global Dynamic Equity fund hit the £1 billion mark in recent weeks.
With less than two months to go it looks as though 2011 is on its way to being another good year. And as the multi-asset range is also performing extremely well the board should be happy.
Today I have a meeting John Ventre, the co-manager of the Global Dynamic Equity fund, and Alexia Krug, our European analyst, to debrief the Paris trip. We try to come to what is proving to be a hard decision between the two potential candidates for the European mandate.
We do eventually come to a conclusion and plan to be investing early in the new year.
We also review the American and Sian line-up of managers and decide to start a search for an aggressive midcap America specialist for potential addition to the American list of managers.
We take a day trip from Winchester where we live to Bicester, where I have booked a sports car driving afternoon for my wife Bethan.
As I do not have a license myself I am relegated to watching from the stands. We end up spending more time in traffic than on the track.
I am also informed through an official letter to Santa that my son’s “definitive” wish for Christmas is a Buzz Light-year… until the next letter I suppose…