Weekly Thoughts 09 May 2014

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I was considering a visit to the asset managers that I use overseas. Well, I decided to go ahead with this and now all is booked and done and I finally have my UK visa in hand. I’m off on the 1st of June for 10 days. I have three meetings scheduled in London with Orbis, Sarasin and Investec and then three meetings in Douglas, the main town on the Isle of Man. These are to see the guys who manage Marriott’s international funds, secondly with a group called IOMA Group with whom I’ve placed UK pension funds and then with an international trustee company I have used for clients. I think it will be a good idea to visit the physical premises of these companies, meet some different people at each place and ask my due diligence questions. These sort of questions include issues around fund manager and business succession, house views, buy & sell lists, care of nominee accounts, fund mandates… etc.

Once I had decided to go I thought to myself that if I was going to the Isle of Man, potentially once in my life, then I was going to try and go during the famous TT Motorbike race held each year on the Island. Any self-respecting motor racing enthusiasts will know of the TT race. It is a motor bike race using 37 miles of public roads around the island. You see, hidden in my darker side is a motor racing fan. Back in the 80’s you could find me sitting track-side at Kyalami. The TT therefore dictated my dates to be in June and by the time I had decided to do this trip, all accommodation on the island was booked up because of this race. Not a room available. So I will be camping at the Douglas Rugby club for a few nights. Camping fees automatically make me a social member of the club, so who knows, maybe I get free access to a rugby match while I’m there.

On the two extra days that I have on the Isle of Man I hope to be taken sailing on the ocean by one of the asset managers I know who lives on the island and I will also visit some old castles. When I look at the history, there were probably Viking issues going back hundreds of years around here!