An investment manager at Brighton and Hove-based Skerritts Wealth Management and Chartered Financial Planners, will co-run the 8AM GLOBAL Focussed fund.
Andy Merricks (pictured) joins existing 8AM GLOBAL Focussed fund manager Tom McGrath. He will continue his role as investment manager at Skerritts.
The two colleagues have known each other for 20 years and, according to Merricks, share a belief common sense should dictate asset allocation.
‘It makes sense to invest in themes that are here to stay for the next few years at least.
'Others have been talking about areas such as cyber security and robotics and automation, but we get on and invest in them.
‘I have never understood why managers invest in sectors they don’t like or believe in just because a benchmark or model tells them to. If you don’t like something, avoid it,’ said Merricks.
McGrath said he prefers the balance working with a colleague can provide.
‘I have always preferred running money with another manager and often it can help if we hold contrarian views, balancing the yin and the yang between people can result in a much smoother return to investors; something I managed to achieve with (the late) Martin Gray running the Miton Special Situations fund from 2001 – 2008,’ he said.
The pair said they are not attached to any one way of investing.
‘We certainly are not evangelical over the use of passives over actives, or vice versa.
‘We will simply invest in the best, most cost effective vehicle that we can find to reflect our current views,’ they said.
Merricks explained how they two decided to work together.
‘Tom came to see me to pitch the fund for inclusion in the Skerritts portfolios. We had a chat and I said I cannot use the 8AM fund in Skerritts’ models because of the size and because performance was not as good as our models.
‘The aim is to build a long-term record with the 8AM Focused fund,’ he said.
‘If that performance matches up to be eligible for the investment committee at Skerritts (excluding myself) to consider that could happen. But it would be about 12 months down the line I think before any Skerritts money goes into the fund,’ said Merricks.
On the issue of impartiality, the investment manager was clear things would stay ‘squeaky clean.’
‘If [the 8AM fund] finds its way in it will be down the road and will have to be more than justifiable- it has to be absolutely squeaky clean. But at the moment that is not on the horizon,’ said Merricks.