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A piworld interview - Rosemary Banyard: Launching a fund during COVID19

A piworld interview - Rosemary Banyard: Launching a fund during COVID19

16 April 2021

Rosemary launched the VT Downing Unique Opportunities Fund on 23rd March 2020, just days from the nadir of the market crash. Here, she discusses launching a fund when there is ‘blood on the streets’. She outlines some of her investing criteria including intrinsic valuation and Return on Equity, with a disregard to PEs. Where she finds ideas. Then, she goes on to discuss a few of the holdings. A very informative interview.

00:40 Rosemary’s background
02:36 What inspired the Downing VT Downing Unique Opportunities Fund?
04:47 How’s it performed in its first year?
05:53 How did it feel to launch a fund in the nadir of the market crash?
08:45 Retrospectively what would you have done differently? Have you sold anything?
12:00 Investment criteria. Intrinsic value, versus other metrics and qualitative factors.
18:50 Valuations and PE
22:23 Why would you sell?
25:23 What is the ideal number of holdings and percentage weighting?
29:10 Of your holdings do you think is the most undervalued: Elementis #ELM
32:40 Which of your holdings is the most risky? James Fisher #FSJ
35:10 Which of your holdings is a buy and forget? Impax Asset Management #IPX
36:17 Where do you get your ideas from?
39:57 Does liquidity limit positions you can get into?
42:40 Outlook for the market

Rosemary Banyard began her career with James Capel & Co where she was a senior investment analyst for 12 years before becoming a fund manager at AIB Govett. She rose to prominence and developed a reputation as one of the leading female fund managers in the UK after she joined Schroders in 1997. For almost 20 years she was known for running the acclaimed Schroder UK Smaller Companies Fund with Andy Brough, and was for many years lead manager of the award-winning Schroder Mid Cap Fund PLC as well as heading up several other segregated UK equity mandates, managing total assets of c £1 billion.

In 2016 she joined Sanford DeLand to launch and manage the Free Spirit Fund. The Schroder UK Mid Cap trust returned 17% pa while she was manger and in her two and a half years managing money at Sanford DeLand the Free Spirit Fund returned 31% placing it in the top decile of the IA UK All Companies sector. She joined Downing in March 2020 to launch the VT Downing Unique Opportunities Fund.

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