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PIWORLD interview with Richard Leonard: Winners and Losers of 2021

PIWORLD interview with Richard Leonard: Winners and Losers of 2021

17 December 2021

Richard talks through the thrills and spills of his year. Up 42.5% at his high, and still up over 30% when we spoke, now, probably higher with National World #NWOR reporting ahead of expectations on 16th December, a day after recording. A brilliant performance but not everything went to plan. As always, Richard gives us some great nuggets, take profits when your weighting goes above your comfort threshold; weight your position size according to the market cap, and he observes, the top holdings are where you make your money, the bottom is where you get whiplashed. His main learning of the year is to have more patience.

Richard may be long or short any companies mentioned, please do your own research.

00:58 Richard’s year to date performance
02:24 What went badly: Synthoma #SYNT
13:17 What went well? Polar Capital #POLR
17:47 Made.com #MADE
28:33 Best performer: Reach #RCH 35:37 National World #NWOR
37:22 UP Global Sourcing #UPGS; Macfarlane #MACF & Devro #DVO
39:57 Bloomsbury #BMY
43:39 IPOs and liquidity/illiquidity
44:40 Has the macro picture changed your stock selection criteria?
49:33 AB Foods #ABF; Homeserve #HSV
50:45 Cash
52:45 Santa rally
53:39 Seraphine #BUMP
59:40 Wincanton #WIN
01:01 52 Will the FTSE100 close up, down or flat by 15th December 2022?

Richard’s background in his own words:

My interest in the London stock market came about in the early 80’s – working over the summer holidays whilst at college, as a post boy – leading to being somewhat of a gofer for a man called Zimmerman, who help build Mercury Asset Management in the 1980s. The taste of the moving parts of the City gave me my first real joy of City life – and I loved it.

1986 – joined Lazard Brothers (via the back door) as a Trust Accountant, valuing and doing the daily book-keeping for investment trusts/unit trusts. Had my chance to move to the front office in 1988 as an assistant fund manager on the bond the international desks. Met my first real mentor John Innes, helping to manage and win major international global accounts – flying around the world in my mid 20’s.

Realised the real way to learn the skills needed to manage money was via mentors – very good ones. My real passion is to manage money invested directly in stocks and shares – where I saw the excitement and thrills – and having the belief I could make serious money. Passed my analyst and other professional exams then had the chance to join a real modern-day investment legend – Richard Smith – becoming his no.2 on the Lazard UK Small Companies desk. Over the following 5 years gained the opportunity to build the investment style foundation stones – I still follow today.

The importance of skilled mentors – is the real key to the success of any young professional – especially in the investment world. True 30 years ago – true today.

1997 – left Lazard to join the sell-side (stockbroking), Chaterhouse – specialising in small and mid-cap UK companies. An amazing experience, helping to take a mid-ranking firm to No1.

2001 – sold my soul to Merill Lynch.

2005 – returned to the buy-side with Cazenove to help run the UK-focused hedge funds – mixing my stock-picking skills to their business cycle style. Ended up with about £1.5billion of funds to manage and becoming one of the most successful performing UK hedge funds in the UK in that period, especially the GFC.

2010 – left Cazenove to join Trium – a private family wealth office – managing our own money – no clients – simply an absolute returned focused approach. Long – short. And both short and long-term objectives and managing my own pa. money alongside.

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