Fund managers diary
Mark Hindle is the investment director at Policy Selection. His diary runs from August 23-29.
I have a meeting in Seoul, South Korea, on Thursday and the only way of
getting there from the Caymans is to leave today—three days ahead of time. As if
that is not testing enough, it is my wife’s birthday. We had both taken the day
off and mapped out what we were going to do, but all that is shelved and after a
hurried lunch she drives me to the airport. I leave at 3.40pm for the first leg
Given that Miami is such an important hub, it always surprises me that they have never tried to make more of the retail space - a point acutely brought into focus when the connecting flight to Chicago is delayed for four hours. Thankfully there is a slight buffer in the schedule and at 3am I check into the airport hotel at O’Hare.
I catch the morning flight from Chicago to Tokyo. Little of the 13-hour
flight is taken up by sleeping. It is a good time to review a couple of
documents and catch up on some films—The Ghost is not bad. (article
A last-minute task, to acquire a suitable gift for one of our distributors to
show our appreciation, has been sprung on me by Andrew Walters, the finance
director. He’s been in Japan presenting the fund and is rapidly running out of
presents, as are required by the etiquette of the territory. Assured fund is
well-received by several asset managers and institutional investors who
appreciate our candour and transparency of operation. Within three hours I am
back on a plane to Seoul, present in hand. Finally at 11pm I check
I get picked up by our representative at 9am to collect Andrew from the
airport and start a long string of meetings with shareholders of Assured. They
are all well-informed—life settlements is not a new concept in the region. At
times the rooms have up to 12 analysts and product-structuring guys in
attendance. After the required protocols, the meetings invariably settle in to a
natural pattern of question and answer, with everyone keen to participate.
We are questioned about the market in general and how new activity in acquiring portfolios for securitisations and ratings is driving up the asset price. We have the good sense and courtesy to have someone who can translate for us. Communication is key and some of the concepts can be quite intricate. At 9pm, I eventually get back to the hotel room with renewed respect for the sales teams who are on the road daily.
We are picked up at 7.30am and head off to a meeting, which ends after
10.30am. Then Andrew and I both head to the airport; he to go home and I on to
Hong Kong for my meetings next week. During the trip to the airport our
representative is delighted that he has already received the promise of a
substantial new investment.
I must have caught food poisoning on the flight from Seoul to Hong Kong, as I
am bed-ridden for most of the day. Fortunately by the evening I have recovered
enough to meet a friend who has just moved to Hong Kong from the Cayman Islands.
I catch up on my emails and then I go out to explore Hong Kong. I am back to fighting form as I brave the local street food, which is good, even if I am not really sure what it is. Getting back to the hotel I am informed that a category-three typhoon is forecast and that I should check with the airline to see if my flight home is stil okay. But that is on Tuesday and a lot can happen between then and now.