Stuart O'Gorman: 2001
e-fundresearch.com: Which benchmark do you adhere to?
Stuart O'Gorman: MSCI All Countries World Information Technology Index
e-fundresearch.com: Are you also responsible for other funds or mandates?
Stuart O'Gorman: I also manage the Henderson Global Technology fund and the Henderson Global Growth fund.
e-fundresearch.com: What is the total AUM you manage in all your funds? Stuart O'Gorman: $3.6 bn, as of 28 September 2012.
e-fundresearch.com: What are the main steps in your investment process?
Stuart O'Gorman: The investment style of the Henderson Horizon Global Technology Fund is one of active management with a modest bias towards growth. The fund seeks long-term capital appreciation by investing in a globally diversified portfolio of technology-related companies.
The investment process is predominantly bottom-up, with a thematic overlay. Thorough fundamental stock analysis is key to the process and there is a particularly close focus on valuation. We focus particularly on the value proposition that a company offers to their customers and on the barriers to entry that a company possesses to enable them to protect their profit margins and market share.
We also attempt to identify cross sub-sector trends in technology, and use any thematic implications to identify potential investments. This approach also helps us control risk by reducing any unintended thematic risks resulting from bottom-up stock selection.
e-fundresearch.com: In which step are you able to add most value to investors?
The team believes that the market often fails to appreciate the profitability of a company with strong barriers to entry, while over-estimating the long term value of those possessing no sustainable competitive advantage.
e-fundresearch.com: What was the performance of the fund over the past five years vs. the benchnmark?
e-fundresearch.com: How content are you with your own performance in the past years and this year so far?
Stuart O'Gorman: The Henderson Horizon Global Technology Fund has provided investors with top-quartile sector performance over the past 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 and 10 year time periods.
e-fundresearch.com: How long have you been a fund manager already?
Stuart O'Gorman: I have been in the industry for 16 years.
e-fundresearch.com: What were your biggest successes and your biggest disappointments in your career as a fund manager?
Investing in Apple in 2003 and recognizing the comprised business models of Nokia and other feature phone companies.
One of my biggest disappointments was being too young to recognise the extent of the tech bubble.
e-fundresearch.com: What kind of capital market situation do we see at the moment? How do you act in this environment and what are the specific challenges?
Stuart O'Gorman: The economy is still extremely uncertain and it still dominates investment returns. We have taken smaller relative positions than normal vs the benchmark.
e-fundresearch.com: What is your outlook for the asset class for the coming 12-18 months?
Stuart O'Gorman: I have no real conviction in the direction of the market – we have a certainty of yet more stimulus, an already high degree of fear and cheap valuations on one side, but a structurally damaged economy with the potential to get a lot worse without the correct policy response on the other. However, if the early warning signs of trouble the technology sector is picking up prove to be true then I believe that technology is likely to outperform the (albeit falling) global equity market. If we manage to overcome the fiscal cliff, kick the can down the road again in Europe and the shoots of recovery we are starting to see in China do not wither then I think there will be a pretty violent recovery in technology spending accompanied by a pretty violent surge in stock prices. With so much uncertainty I am reluctant to try to call the direction of the market but I still like technology on a relative basis on a twelve-month view. However, it is likely to be an extremely volatile ride.
There are some bright spots in the global economy, especially in the US and governments seem far less likely to allow the collapse in credit that happened previously. It should be noted that technology spending is a gauge of fear in the economy and if we have a speedy policy response these fears can reverse pretty quickly. In addition, the attractiveness of alternative investments has greatly reduced since then because “safe” havens such as gold and debt have already performed so strongly.
e-fundresearch.com: Do you have any role models in the asset management industry or in other areas of life?
Stuart O'Gorman: Warren Buffet. Who else?
e-fundresearch.com: What motivates you in your job?
Stuart O'Gorman: Technology is constantly changing – it keeps things interesting.
e-fundresearch.com: What other profession would you have taken interest in, apart from becoming a fund manager?
Stuart O'Gorman: A professional cricketer.
e-fundresearch.com: Many Thanks!