After a year with few places to hide in the markets and the potential for 2019 to echo, our Head of Investments, Robin Johnson, spent time catching up with Dave Foord, founder and Chief Investment Officer of Foord Asset Management. Dave is also a portfolio manager on the Nedgroup Investments Stable fund and the Nedgroup Investments Value Fund.
It has been 38 years since the inception of Foord Asset Management in 1981, and while there has been natural evolution since the launch of their first fund in 1983, the firm and process remain reassuringly unaltered and robust.
Stability within the investment team has always been a feature, but something that has gradually increased over time as assets under management have grown, is the number of dedicated investment professionals. The firm now has five portfolio managers and eight equity research analysts based in South Africa, plus an additional three portfolio managers and four analysts based in Singapore.
Establishing Foord International in Singapore and the addition of a dedicated team to focus on managing Global Assets was a timely and necessary decision for Foord Asset Management. The stable and diverse team is well positioned to interrogate the management of global companies and react to global movements.
Since inception, an enduring feature of the Foord approach to managing money has been the application of flexible asset allocation. The strength of conviction to move assets into attractively valued areas of the market is an underappreciated skill which has a significant contribution to total return.
2018 was a tough calendar year for the South African equity market. Despite this, the stock selection capabilities of the dedicated equity analysts at Foord has produced strong relative performance for the Nedgroup Investments Value Fund.
An election year is not normally synonymous with sedate financial markets, so should investors prepare themselves for another turbulent year and what are the prospects for the economy irrespective of the national vote? Where there is uncertainty, there may also be opportunity for investors who can stay the course.
Around the world there are numerous factors conspiring to ensure that life is not easy for investors. From Brexit to Trade Wars, which events will have a lasting impact on businesses and consequently the financial markets.
Nedgroup Investments would like to thank Dave Foord for sharing such open discussion and the continued stewardship on behalf of the investors in Stable and Value, with a sharp focus on managing their assets in line with the mandate and stated objectives.