Which stocks do you avoid?
We don’t like firms in declining markets such as some manufacturing or those that rely on high street retail and are struggling to move online.
How have you been managing the transition?
Paul and I have been planning for the handover for almost a year. Until June we will be managing everything jointly. From then until he steps down in October I will be leading, but he will be around if we need him.
The fund’s investment style will not change after the handover.
Are you preparing for a recession?
Yes, and we expect it to be a savage one. We are trying to make sure we are not too exposed to certain sectors or, if we are, that we spread the risk by making sure the companies we hold within those sectors are very different.
Around 40pc of the fund is invested in industrials, but within that we own Bodycote, which provides heat treatments for manufacturing, and Spectris, which makes scientific equipment for academics.
Their customer bases are very different, which hopefully will protect us.
Are you seeing any opportunities in the crisis?
Absolutely. The share prices of many great companies have dropped dramatically. We’ve already added LondonMetric Property, a logistics company, to the portfolio since coronavirus hit Britain. We will likely add more stocks as well.
We also see potential in consumer stocks, food retailers, travel and leisure. The share prices of many pub groups have been hit hard but could bounce back.
We are already preparing for an economic recovery, although it may take two to three years. We are looking for companies with good management teams and cash available in order to grow their share of the market.