Investec’s Mundy shakes up American fund

Alastair Munday 200

Investec fund manager Alastair Mundy has revamped the group’s American fund to fit his investment style after taking it over in the summer.

The £254m Investec American fund, previously managed by Thornburg Investment Management, was brought in-house under the management of Alastair Mundy (pictured) and Mark Wynne-Jones at the beginning of August. Mundy has shifted 7 per cent of the portfolio into healthcare, increasing his weighting in the sector from 15.9 per cent in July to 22 per cent, according to FE data to 30 September.

He says that companies such as Zimmer Holdings play into the theme of an ageing population suffering from modern diseases and are “unloved” by investors. Zimmer designs, develops, makes and markets orthopaedic surgical products such as reconstructive, spinal and trauma devices and dental implants.

Mundy reduced the fund’s weighting in technology from 22.3 per cent in July to 18.2 per cent. For example, he has cut holdings in Apple and Google because in his view they are “in favour” and therefore expensive.

The manager also runs the £703m Investec UK Special Situations fund and admits he should have bought Standard Chartered when its share price fell following allegations of a £160bn money-laundering scheme with Iran.

Standard Chartered’s shares plunged more than 24 per cent following the news. The stock rose after the firm agreed to pay £217m to New York regulators to settle claims. It is currently trading at almost £15 a share.

Mundy says: “We missed a chance to buy Standard Chartered when the share price fell. We are waiting for valuations to look attractive to buy it.”

Mundy says Standard Chartered, whose profits mostly come from emerging markets, is in a competitive position as smaller Asian banks struggle to keep up with loan demand.

“These banks have lots of deposits and their loan books have grown strongly,” he says. “So they have a balance in the ratio of deposits to loans, whereas Standard Chartered has a surplus of deposits to lend.”

Mundy also recently bought into Royal Bank of Scotland. His only other bank position is in HSBC.