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22 Apr 2016

MULTIPLE-COUNSELLOR CHANGES TO INTERNATIONAL PORTFOLIOS

Most readers will already be familiar with Foord’s multiple-counsellor portfolio management process implemented in 2009. PRAKASH DESAI revisits the rationale for the process and explains the latest developments in the international portfolios.

From its origin in Foord’s South African office, the multiple-counsellor process has evolved to include more portfolio managers across most investment strategies. The Singapore-domiciled Foord Global Equity Fund was managed on this basis by multiple managers from its inception.

The manager mix and weights are formally reviewed at calendar year-ends. Significant planning precedes any changes to ensure that the company’s internal capacity optimises the firm’s ability to generate superior long-term investment returns for investors. The excellent performance across all investment strategies over the past six years reflects the success of this portfolio management practice.

The Foord International Trust/Fund has been the principal exception to the rule, having been co-managed since its inception by Dave Foord and Bruce Ackerman until Bruce’s retirement in 2011. Subsequently, it has been managed by Dave as the sole manager. In contrast to multiple-counsellor management, co-management requires investment ideas to meet with consensus before being included in the portfolio. We favour multiple-counsellor management over co-management because we feel that individuals produce better results than teams and because the right investment idea is unlikely to always meet with consensus.

Foord has now extended the multiple-counsellor process to the Foord International Trust/Fund by appointing Brian Arcese as a multiple-counsellor portfolio manager from 1 January 2016. Accordingly, Dave and Brian will each have an allocation, with Brian initially having a relatively small allocation in accordance with the multiple-counsellor philosophy. Brian has 13 years’ experience in the investments industry, eight of which have been as portfolio manager in global markets. His equity research focus is on the consumer discretionary, healthcare and utilities sectors. He holds a BA (Economics) and is a CFA charter holder.

Dave’s role as CIO and multiple-counsellor portfolio manager on the firm’s global equity and multi-asset strategies remains unchanged. Brian will continue to manage a portion of the Foord Global Equity Fund in addition to his research obligations. As with all things at Foord, as stewards of our investors’ assets, we always make these changes in the best interests of investors.

We are also pleased to have appointed two additional research analysts, Jeff Suzuki and Kavitha Menon, to the Singapore office. Four experienced analysts from the SA office also contribute to the global research effort. The team of twelve strong analysts and portfolio managers continues to vigorously apply Foord’s multi-decade proven investment philosophy in identifying and implementing the quality investment ideas across the globe for the benefit of our investors. It has never been more important to have this international capability than in the current difficult market conditions.

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