e-fundresearch: Which benchmark do you adhere to?
Fitzsimmons: The funds aim to outperform well known measures of cash returns: 3 percent per annum above 3 month Euribor for the Target Return Fund and 1.5 percent above EONIA for the lower risk Target Return Core Fund.
e-fundresearch: Are you also responsible for other funds at the moment?
Fitzsimmons: I focus on a number of Threadneedle´s absolute strategies across a focussed range of specialist and multi-asset portfolios.
e-fundresearch: What is the total volume that you manage in all your funds?
Fitzsimmons: I personally manage around EUR 5.2 billion as of 31 December 2009.
e-fundresearch: Regarding the performance: which performance did you achieve since the beginning of the year and in the years 2004-2009? Absolutely and relatively to the relevant benchmark?
Fitzsimmons: Target Return Fund TO THE END OF JAN 2010
´Threadneedle OEICs Versus Comparative Indices (EUR prev DEM)
´Fund Returns calculated from 12 noon (UK Time) prices compared to Global Close Indices
Fund Returns Gross of TER (and Tax) for comparison with indices
Periods longer then 1 year are annualised
e-fundresearch: How content are you with your own performance in the last years and this year?
Fitzsimmons: The team has performed very well in a range of extreme and highly challenging market environments.
e-fundresearch: How are you able to deliver added value for your investors with your performance?
Fitzsimmons: By adding value over and above cash returns.
e-fundresearch: How long have you been a fund manager already?
Fitzsimmons: For almost 19 years.
e-fundresearch: What were your biggest successes and your biggest disappointments in your career as fund manager?
Fitzsimmons: Contributing to driving Threadneedle´s absolute return products to class leading measures of competitive performance and gaining investors´ confidence with this type of approach has been professionally highly satisfying.
The biggest challenge is always present - the need to balance an open mind with the requirement to take appropriate risk in order to add value for our clients.
e-fundresearch: What kind of capital market situation do we have at the moment? How do you act in this environment?
Fitzsimmons: This is a treacherous environment that has seen governments have to act as enormous shock absorbers for a destabilised banking system. The new challenge for investors is under-standing how public sector deficits will be financed and managed in the coming years.
e-fundresearch: What are the special challenges in this environment?
Fitzsimmons: As economies limp into better health a key issue will be how markets cope with central bank attempts to reduce liquidity and the ultimate risk of moving into a phase of higher interest rates.
e-fundresearch: What objectives do you have till the end of the year and in the mid term for the upcoming 3 to 5 years?
Fitzsimmons: The short-term and long-term target is always to meet the specification of our investment products. If we can demonstrate that we can continue to adapt and prosper in this exceptional environment our business will thrive.
e-fundresearch: Do you model yourself on someone? Any ideals?
Fitzsimmons: George Soros, Nassim Taleb and proven long-term macro investors.
e-fundresearch: What motivates you in your job?
Fitzsimmons: The satisfaction of correctly understanding the investment environment AND translating this into realisable investment returns for our clients.
e-fundresearch: What else do you want to achieve or do you have any further aims as a fund manager?
Fitzsimmons: My aim is to build our absolute return products to continue to add value in this exceptional business environment. In so doing, Threadneedle´s reputation as a market leader in this product range will be underpinned.
e-fundresearch: What other profession would you have taken interest in, apart from becoming a fund manager?
Fitzsimmons: A medical doctor.
e-fundresearch: Thank you for the interview!