European Wealth slashes UK exposure; continues EM push

Added 14th July 2017

Though European Wealth’s Richard Stammers refuses to bet on whether the UK economy will survive Brexit, fear of the unknown has convinced him to cut his UK equity exposure to neutral.

European Wealth slashes UK exposure; continues EM push

The firm’s decision to cut back on UK equities was less based on a firm conviction on Brexit’s impact on the economy and more a reflection of the fact that “we just don’t know,” said Stammers.

Brexit surprisingly ended up being a “performance driver” for European Wealth’s portfolio, given its dollar hedge, said Stammers, which was one of the reasons the team was able to buy into UK mid-caps after the referendum.

But after making 20% on the money the wealth manager put on the table, "it’s time to take it off,” he admitted.

“We’re not in the panic camp but equally we’re not sufficiently confident enough that there aren’t going to be some problems along the way.

“When you’re dealing with other people’s money, if you don’t know then you jolly well don’t make bets with it.”

That said, he “loathes politics driving investment decisions”.

Despite Stammers’ reluctance to gamble on the near-term future of the UK, he has continued to make an aggressive push into the relatively riskier emerging markets and frontier markets.

Recently, he has been toying with the idea of adding Hermes’ Global Emerging Markets fund, run by Gary Greenberg, to the portfolio.

He has also ramped up his European exposure, particularly to Northern European markets, after holding off due to the unstable political situation. 

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Kristen McGachey

Senior Reporter

Kristen joined Last Word Media and the world of financial journalism in April 2016, leaving behind a career in a legal publishing firm as a senior researcher turned assistant editor.

This native Angelino initially moved to the UK in 2008 to complete her undergraduate studies at the University of Nottingham. She subsequently obtained a Masters degree in Philosophy with Literature from the University of Warwick.

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