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One of the reasons that working from home during lockdown hasn’t been unduly difficult for Nick Hornby is, he says, ‘performance has been so good’.
Hornby tells Spear’s that Cerno Capital’s global multi-asset medium-risk strategy is up by 4.4 per cent from the beginning of 2020 until 31 May, and by 9.4 per cent for the previous 12 months. That compares to -7.2 per cent and -0.8 per cent respectively for the ARC Steady Growth PCI benchmarks.
‘Clients have been very supportive of us,’ adds Spear’s 2018 Outstanding Achievement award-winner. ‘We haven’t seen any redemptions. We’ve seen new inflows of money, particularly from some wealthy individuals who have been sitting on cash waiting for a time to invest. So we’ve been able to put some of their money to work.’
Cerno favours business with low or no debt, and earlier this year Hornby’s fellow managing partner James Spence took the step of selling positions in companies ‘with slightly higher debt-to-equity ratings than the rest of the portfolio’. It proved to be a wise move.
If the crisis is ‘an opportunity for good firms to prosper’, Hornby says, then it might be the reverse for those who haven’t been doing quite such a good job: ‘This will shake the tree.’