Fund managers diary

Tom Winnifrith is chief executive and senior fund manager at t1ps Investment Management. His diary runs from November 29-December 5.



Monday We run seven funds and are launching three more and I am senior manager of those funds but also chief executive officer of Rivington Street Holdings (RSH), a listed conglomerate with 130 staff in London, Douglas and New York. So the odds are that I am in my home town, ­Doug­las on the Isle of Man. But I might be in London or France, where my partner is doing an MBA. Today I am in Douglas and take a five-minute walk to work followed by informal chats with colleagues. As we are long-term buy-and-holders there is no frantic trading. I wander around annoying other staff. RSH has a product to launch and I am impatient.

Tuesday Up at 5.30am and fly to London at 7.30am and make the office for 9am. Spend the day annoying staff in London. But there are also 10 meetings with companies in which we are invested or with divisional heads (RSH owns 15 companies) or with acquisition targets. I spend my evening out with co-conspirators on the acquisition team – a loose network of associates plus some in-house staff. (article continues below)

Wednesday People have to come to us as my time in Britain is so limited. I take a 7.30pm flight home and catch up with Kitosh, my cat.

Thursday Radio interview on the book I have just published – “101 Ways to Save Money in a Recession”. We make headway on the next acquisition for RSH and sub-edit a ­couple of research reports. Why do all writers think that a company is a plural? Long phone chats with a couple of investee companies. One has just issued a shedload of options with a five-year term at mid price.

I threaten to sell our entire holding and crash the share price unless the options are re-priced as this is theft of value from investors to directors. The company caves in.

I am increasingly intolerant of managers who pay themselves too much and do not deliver. I have one team in particular in my sights and am determined to deal with this situation before Easter. Fund managers put up with too much in terms of rewarding failure. They should be more assertive and aggressive, but then most British fund managers are themselves overpaid for delivering a mediocre return so I guess its pots and kettles.

Friday Another radio interview. Sub a couple of press releases for RSH. More talking on the phone. Someone has pulled out of an oil barrel conference for next week. Need to twist an arm or two to get a replacement. Bump into Denham Eke (a non-executive director) as I wander home and find myself in the Courthouse (a bar on Athol Street). Denham is an amusing fellow but not good for my liver. Home by nine.

Weekend Writing, writing, writing. My editorial for t1ps.com – the website which started RSH almost 11 years ago – appears on Sunday as it has done every week without fail for more than a decade. It gets my full attention and contains real analysis. My blog on ShareCrazy.com is more of a diatribe.

A drive to the top of Snae Fell for some thinking devours a few hours. I just sit there with the window open breathing cold air and thinking. Numbers, numbers, numbers rush through my head, but on Snae Fell you have the space to think about what to do.

A few phone calls to investee companies inevitably follow. West Ham lose again. Giving up my season ticket has pared the agony of following my beloved Irons. An early flight to London looms.