GAM has hired ex-ING Barings broker Lesley Lather to augment the team running its Japan portfolios,...
GAM has hired ex-ING Barings broker Lesley Lather to augment the team running its Japan portfolios, follow- ing the departure of Paul Kirkby, writes Robert Maharajh.
Lather, like Kirkby, a former broker whose main strength is as a stock-picker, will join head of Asia Mike Bunker and Mitsuko McClure in managing Japan portfolios including GAM Japan as well as the Japan long/short hedge fund.
The funds will continue to be run in line with the GAM approach of 'growth at the right price', focusing on fundamental value at the company level, with an emphasis on factors such as management quality, cashflow and franchise strength.
Both funds are at present defensive, with the long-only fund carrying around 15% cash and the hedge fund also cash-heavy and short mainly via Nikkei futures. This is largely for technical reasons: the end of September will see banks and other companies marking to market, and Bunker believes a number of fundamentally weak companies will manipulate their share prices upwards through artificial means, leaving them vulnerable on the downside.
After 1 October, Bunker plans to place a number of shorts on particularly vulnerable stocks and then take the futures position down.
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