Weekly Thoughts 25 October 2013

My listening, learning and talking this week included the fund managers of the Allan Gray Stable and Orbis Global Equity Funds, a fund manager and a director from Investec, personal chat time with two fund managers from Marriott, telephone chats with a trust and corporate services company on the Isle of Man and then, a two-hour lunch in a leafy garden in Nottingham Road with a retired employee and member of the board of SA Breweries.

The time with the chap from SAB was fascinating. Interesting to have spent time with someone from that level of a company that the asset managers that I use buy into. He explained in detail their very efficient distribution systems as well as the dividend flows and the tight running of the business. He was equally interested in my choice of asset managers and my approach to using an income focussed asset manager for structuring retired client’s income.

The Orbis Fund manager spent a lot of time talking about the relative returns of this fund over the past 6 month and 1 year periods in comparison to how these figures appeared one year ago, where they were looking sad. She spoke about how they will follow their conviction of choice of stocks and wait, with the past year now showing the result of this conviction. And from my point of view, I want a fund manager that I have chosen to use to do just this: stick to their mandate.