Fund Manager’s Diary

Monday Get up early at the London hotel where I had checked in the previous day, to look at the Indian market. Set out to Paris by early train to visit prospective clients along with John Cotton, my marketing colleague. Met three of them, impressing on them the strength of the India story and the special positioning of the fund, strong conviction towards mid tier and smaller companies, its performance and prospects.

Though apparently convinced about the opportunity, the audience still regards India as a rather small part of the emerging market universe and not as a mainline asset allocation, which I believe it has become. Lunch at the historic Travelers’ Club. I am amused to see the bath-tub of the famous courtesan of a French noble, on which has been placed a sliding cover to serve as dining chairs. In between meetings I walk around the Eiffel Tower and am surprised at how few tourists there are. Catch the evening train to Geneva and check into the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

Tuesday Start the day by checking on the Indian market and see that the fund is doing well based on the exceptional price performance of a couple of mid cap stocks, which seem to have been at last discovered by the market. Place a few orders including a couple of sells in respect of stocks where the value creation catalyst that I was waiting for has taken the price to well past my fair value.

After a couple of interesting meetings in the morning, meet a few clients and prospective ones over lunch in which I made a detailed presentation on the Indian opportunity. The audience is receptive and seems keen to pursue the investment opportunity further. Proceed to Zurich by an evening train and check into a hotel.

Wednesday The fund continues its good run on the back a few more of the mid cap stocks that have put up a stellar price performance. Have an early morning conference call with my colleagues in India to decide on participating in an IPO [Initial Public Offering] in the power transmission sector. Place a large order for participating in the IPO.

Continue to sell the couple of stocks that I sold the previous day. After a couple of client meetings, go for a lunch presentation to a few more clients. Take an evening flight to Madrid for a dinner meeting with a client, who seems happy with his investment in the fund and is waiting for a correction to increase his exposure to the fund. Post dinner took a late night flight to London.

Thursday Delight in funds’ continuing good run on the back a few more stocks being discovered by the market. Prepare for a hectic day of meetings including a presentation to the largest investor in the fund who is to take a decision about hiking exposure to India. The presentation and the meetings go well.

Friday Check the Indian market. After meetings, which went well, a lunch arranged for some high net worth clients. The India story seems to resonate well with the audience with several interesting questions about the sustainability of India’s robust economic growth. Round up the day with a couple more client meetings.

Wait interminably for the pre-arranged transport that is to take me to Heathrow to catch my flight to Mumbai. The car was caught up in a traffic jam and could not reach us until almost an hour late. Take the underground and board Heathrow Express at Paddington to reach the airport just in time to board the flight to Mumbai.

  • UR Bhat is is managing director of Dalton Capital Advisors (India) and manager of the Melchior Indian Opportunities fund. His diary runs from September 10-14.