Sandy Nairn built a formidable reputation as a contrarian investor, first as head of global research for Franklin Templeton and more recently as CIO for Scottish Widows. Now that he’s running his own investment boutique, Edinburgh Partners, the 43-year-old Scot is not about to fall for the trend of the day.
Launch a hedge fund? Not a chance. “The acid test for me,” Nairn says, “was to ask a simple question: What would I invest in? I don’t know anything about hedge funds, though that doesn’t seem to be a bar to many people who are setting them up.”
Instead, Edinburgh Partners’ first product is about as traditional as you can get: a closed-end investment trust of the sort introduced in the 19th century. Edinburgh Partners’ Global Opportunities Trust, which began trading on the London Stock Exchange on December 15, will invest in 40 or 50 stocks globally, using old-fashioned bottom-up analysis.
“There is a market for what we do,” says Nairn, who is currently writing a book about his mentor, Sir John Templeton. “But we are doing it because we believe in it, not because we have spotted an opportunity or because we want to make lots of money.”