While shepherds watched their stocks…with Whitechurch Securities’ Tim Jones

In a festive Q&A series investment experts reflect on how much markets and work life have returned to normal in 2021

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Whitechurch Securities investment manager Tim Jones is overweight UK assets heading into 2022 and is looking forward to his 10-month-old son’s first Christmas

What have been your top and worst-performing fund picks during the year?

Among the top performing funds this year are two holdings which feature across our range of strategies – Pictet Water and Impax Environmental Markets.  Both are longstanding positions with strong track records. At the other end of the scale would have to be our small exposure to emerging markets, which has underperformed as an asset class this year.

What are your biggest over and underweights heading into 2022?

Our biggest overweight position heading into 2022 would have to be the UK, which we still feel is generally under-appreciated. Another area of focus which we have tried to integrate across our offering is the long-term climate change theme, which probably isn’t as heavily represented within our peer-group. We remain underweight Japan. Despite the excitement over new leadership, we don’t see as much potential for investors as we do in other regions at the moment.

How much have you been meeting fund managers face-to-face this year compared to last?

On the whole, fund managers have embraced the technological advances in video conferencing borne out of lockdown one, so even when restrictions were eased we definitely received less requests for face-to-face meetings than we ever did pre-pandemic. It does have its advantages, as it can be more productive for those in satellite offices or for those with headquarters in Bristol, like us.

Are you going to have an office Christmas party this year? If so, what is the plan?

We were, like many others I’m sure, hoping to have our first black-tie office get together since 2019 this Christmas, however we have sensibly decided to postpone the celebrations until early next year. I’m sure it will be worth the wait when the time eventually comes.

How different are your Christmas plans going to be in 2021 compared to last year?

Christmas this year will be full on, as not only are we hosting both sides of our family, but this year will also feature a new addition – our 10 month old, Oliver. I think we will be cooking for 13 in total.

What’s on your Christmas wish list?

Our industry thrives on interaction and hard work, so I would like to say a year with no restrictions on the movement of people would be nice, although that seems increasingly unlikely. Perhaps further vaccine progress would be more realistic.

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