Video: meet the manager

Zehrid Osmani became sole Portfolio Manager on 1 October 2018, following his appointment as Co-Portfolio Manager in June 2018. This is part of a considered succession plan following the planned retirement of Tom Walker from the Company. Zehrid brings over 20 years’ experience and an impressive track record.

1 October 2018

Introducing our new manager

I’m delighted to have been appointed manager of Martin Currie Global Portfolio Trust.

I’ve been working alongside Tom Walker since the end of June. He has managed the portfolio since 2000. We share a belief that the focus should be on investing in high-conviction, long-term ideas, derived from detailed fundamental research.

I aim to continue Tom’s good work, building on my experience from more than 20 years in the industry.

One of Martin Currie Global Portfolio Trust’s key advantages is its global remit and increasingly high conviction exposures to attractive trends. Nowadays, limiting yourself to a single nation or region means ruling out potential world-leading companies from across the globe.

What’s changed in the last few months?

Trade tensions have hit the headlines in the last few months, particularly the rising friction between the US and China.

While it is important to monitor these developments, given the potentially negative impact on GDP growth and trade they do not influence our research and long-term approach.

Working alongside Tom, I have been moving to a more concentrated portfolio, reflecting growing conviction in the prospects for a number of companies, coming out of our detailed research. This means we are able to increase allocation to our best ideas.

As always, our focus remains on creating a portfolio of companies which have strong market positions, are in control of their balance sheets and have attractive cash flow profiles. We believe these characteristics are key to sustainably outperforming the market.

Innovation is key

One of the interesting investments in recent months has been Irish food and beverage group Kerry Foods, which is capitalising on the opportunities provided by evolving consumer trends and the changing marketplace

With healthy living climbing up the social and political agenda in many countries, Kerry’s sugar-reduction technology for soft drinks has been helpful to its growth in Europe. The company has also benefited from its innovations in meat-free products – recently strengthened by its acquisition of a Netherlands-based manufacturer of plant-based protein.

Kerry is typical of the companies we look for, demonstrating a real commitment to research and innovation, to maintain a competitive advantage over peers.