Speed-dating with five Elite income managers

Earlier this week, FundCalibre co-hosted our second fund manager speed-dating event. While one manager was pleased he got three phone numbers, they weren’t for a date sadly, as romance wasn’t the order of the day.

Instead, we had invited financial journalists to spend seven minutes each with some of our Elite Rated managers to get their own investment stories – and they simply wanted to follow up with more questions!

While the journalists concentrated on getting the news, we kept it light-hearted and tried to find out more about the characters behind the funds.

The fund managers were:

  • Julian Mayo, co-manager of Charlemagne Magna Emerging Market Dividend
  • Jonathan Platt, manager of Royal London Corporate Bond
  • Dan Roberts, manager of Fidelity Global Dividend
  • Torcail Stewart, manager of Baillie Gifford High Yield Bond
  • Carl Stick, manager of Rathbone Income

Here’s what they had to say to our questions.

1. What was your first job?

Julian: I started my career at Schroders in their Hong Kong office

Jonathan: I grew up on a dairy farm so helped my father feed the calves and collect the eggs

Dan: I basically recorded the road markings in Newport, Wales. Can I make up a glamourous title?!

Torcail: I started out as an investment analyst at Alliance Trust

Carl: My first job was as a chef. My worst day in that job was when I spent all day plucking pheasants. I’m now a vegan!

2. What would you be if you weren’t a fund manager?

Julian: I’d be a football manager as like most fans, I thinks I can do a better job 😉

Jonathan: Definitely not a dairy farmer, it’s too much hard work! I always had a hankering to be the next ‘Rumpole of the Bailey’ and become a barrister. Maybe that.

Dan: I would dearly have loved to have been a rugby player, but I’m a bit slight, even for a hooker. So I’d probably have ended up doing something far more boring like being an actuary.

Torcail: I think I would have gone into academic research of some sort.

Carl: I’d like to play international rugby, but as that would never happen I’d probably go into teaching.

3. What has been your worst investment?

Julian: Selling Samsung Electronics in the early 1990s as the share price continued to rise significantly.

Jonathan: HBOS sub-ordinated debt (a debt owed to an unsecured creditor that in the event of a liquidation can only be paid after the claims of secured creditors have been met). It went from 100p to 20p before Lloyd’s stepped in with a takeover.

Dan: Definitely Eriksson!

Torcail: A Brazilian sugar producer called GBO, as both the sugar price and the currency went the wrong way.

Carl: Tanfield – an electric vehicle maker

4. What has been your best investment?

Julian: Buying Samsung Electronics (indirectly through a convertible bond as you couldn’t invest in the shares at that point) in 1986!

Jonathan: Lloyds enhanced capital notes (a type of co-co bond which were issued as a result of the take-over of HBOS)

Dan: A Dutch publisher called Wolters Cluwer

Torcail: Central European Medic Enterprises and free-to-air TV broadcaster in eastern Europe

Carl: Dechra Pharmaceuticals

5. What is your favourite ice cream flavour?

Julian: Strawberry

Jonathan: Pistachio

Dan: Not a flavour really but Vienetta (and the KFC bucket that goes with it!)

Torcail: Chocolate

Carl: Coconut

6. And finally, tell us something about you that your colleagues may not know

Julian: I can speak 30 words in 30 languages

Jonathan: I play Real Tennis – not particularly well, but understanding the rules is a challenge in itself!

Dan: I won a crazy golf challenge a couple of weeks ago, beating 20 of my friends.

Torcail: I was watch leader in 1998 and 1999 in the Tall Ships Race.

Carl: I ran the Comrades marathon in South Africa two years in a row. It’s 56 miles and the first year I ran it downhill and the second year I ran it uphill.

Past performance is not a reliable guide to future returns. You may not get back the amount originally invested, and tax rules can change over time. The views of the author and any people interviewed are their own and do not constitute financial advice.