Fund Manager’s Diary

Andy Smith manages a global biotechnology fund (BIT) for Schroders and is one of the managers of International Biotechnology Trust (IBT), managed by SV Life Sciences. His diary runs from July 19-25.

Tuesday A supposedly great start to the week – an unquoted investment in the BIT fund has been bought by a Japanese biotech company for close to double our carrying value and today is the announcement. However, my son is ill, so I am at home with him in the morning. Still, I field most things with my Blackberry. With an investment in Australia, I call our trader there to check our order has been completed. After lunch we meet a pre-clinical stem cell and gene therapycompany that wants to IPO – not for us. I call one of our US traders about an order to buy MGI Pharma, a US oncology company. Later I make a dent in my emails and check the US market news.

Wednesday I go through most of my emails on the way to work and read some research notes. I have an appointment with a US analyst who has flown in and three other biotechfund managers – all of us late due to traffic caused by the bombings two weeks ago. Afterwards I pop into Schroders to catch up with our accountants and lawyers to discuss cash management and legals for M&A activity in our unquoted portfolio. We have two company meetings at SV Life Sciences, including a teleconference to theUS on a PIPE [private investment in public equity] deal.

Thursday Followingexcellent earnings andrevised guidance by Amgen, I attempt to read the research pieces on it. Bloomberg comes up with the news that MGI Pharma is buying smaller US oncology company Guilford Pharma. Good job we bought a few thousand shares only the day before – it was an all-stock deal. We decide we should be more hasty in our buying today. I call our US trader and US investment banker aboutthe PIPE deal, but they are more worried about the latest London bombings – the first I’ve heard about them. I call the office, but everyone is fine and a 4pm teleconference is appropriately rescheduled. Markets are strange today – the FTSE stays positive, but the US finishes down.

Friday I attend a meeting on marketing IBT, which throws up some interesting ideas and work to be done. Before lunch the therapeutics team gets together to discuss a couple of quoted investment recommendations and an unquoted investment. I leave work at about 6pm and am surprised to see the US broad indices have all finished up for the day. Seems markets are in denial of recent events.

Saturday Summer has arrived, not so much in the weather but in the level of biotech coverage in the papers today – virtually none. It looks like the generalist has yet to come back to biotech. After checking my email and the newswires, I do some recycling, pick up my dry cleaning and go for a cycle ride, hopefully burning off two Mars bars.

Sunday Turns out to be a wet day, so after checking the papers (even less biotech news; surprising as quite a lot happened last week), I take my daughter to her skating class and suggest that my son clear up his toys. We eventually give up on this and go to Wagamama instead, followed by a swim.

Monday First stop Schroders to sort a few trading issues on a German holding that IPOed in February and to “clean up” some legended, but not now restricted, quoted stock. Back to SV Life Sciences in time for some teleconferences, but the colleague who organised them is out of the office giving birth to a little boy! Later I check with our US trader on the residual MGI order and at 5pm we have a presentation via teleconference from a US/Icelandic biotech company.