Fund Manager’s Diary

Mark Williams is the manager of the F&C Pacific Growth Fund. His diary runs from June 25 to July 1.

Monday Spend the morning catching up on a backlog of emails and voice messages before my meeting with the Indonesian building materials and construction analyst from Credit Suisse. This is one of the more exciting investment areas at the moment. Companies are still too small and illiquid to be suitable investments. But we are watching this space as Indonesia prepares for a huge surge in property development.

Spend all of lunch trying to find an architect who knows about Brent council planning so I can start making alterations to my new flat in Kensal Rise. Play cricket after work with colleagues before grabbing a bite to eat in the West End.

Tuesday Spend much of today getting a presentation ready for a day’s marketing in Liverpool on Thursday.

Meet Zefeng Chen, the chief executive and founder of incinerator maker ZhongDe. This is a relatively small company, which has 30% market share of the medical incinerator market in China but is slowly moving into municipal waste incinerators. In China, municipal waste is not divided up to the same degree as elsewhere in the world. ZhongDe says it is the only company that is able to burn wetter waste efficiently without using fuel.

The company also stands to benefit from the government’s latest five-year plan, which is veering towards incinerating more waste. It is seeking an IPO [initial public offering] in Germany, which it believes has a better understanding of incinerator technology and a stronger tradition of ethical investing than elsewhere in Europe.

Wednesday Have an early meeting with the management of Huabao, another Chinese company that makes flavourings principally for tobacco and which, according to one of my broker contacts, is one of the most profitable companies in the world. Both Huaba and ZhongDe are great examples of a whole wave of small to medium companies that have launched in the past decade and having successfully identified niches in the market are reaching scale where they can expand into international capital markets. We are investing in ZhongDe and closely monitoring Huaba.

Thursday Early morning train to Liverpool. The rest of the day is spent in meetings with brokers running through the Pacific Growth Fund portfolio. One of the firms has since put us on their panel, which is great news.

After returning to London I stop by the Westway on the way home to practise my climbing. The centre has a 40-foot climbing wall and I am hoping to get good enough to climb the Cullin Ridge on the Island of Skye later this summer.

Friday Have a 10 o’clock sales conference call with Petercam, an institutional Belgian fund of funds manager.

I join Peter Dalgliesh, who manages the Pacific Assets Trust, for an in-house lunch with Fernando Ribeiro, head of investments for F&C.

After work I play football under the Westway with several guys I met a few years ago through one of the brokers we work with. Fortunately, most of them are all a little bit older and, dare I say it, a little less agile than I am, which allows me to run around without much talent. I am pleased to say that my side wins the game.

Weekend My parents have flown over from their home in Antigua for my cousin’s wedding, which is held at our grandparents’ farm near Stansted. This is possibly the last opportunity for us all to meet at the farm, which is being sold to make way for the expansion of Stansted airport.