Being new in a big city can be hard, lonely and in London’s case, polluted. Not that any of this seems to be affecting Tcam’s Oli Murray, as he is in fine fettle having arranged to meet me for a drink at Mayfair’s Guinea Grill, writes Steve Plowman.
Gloriously sunny it may be outside, but this week’s star of Pub Club, a Scotsman perhaps cautious of the English sun, is insisting on the great indoors. To be fair to Murray (pictured), there is little to no seating in the sun (something he will have to get used to down here) and our beers are in no danger of warming up.
Having joined what was, at the time, Turcan Connell in June 2014, Murray has seen firsthand the transformation of the business into Tcam. He is currently an investment manager, having worked his way up from fund management assistant.
‘When I became a trainee investment manager, I spent the first three months shadowing one of the investment directors and doing client work, which was a great grounding, but I had always been very interested in the research side of investment,’ he said.
‘In January 2016, I moved to the research team, and I have been there ever since. I have always had a very strong interest in economics and markets, and I am reasonably good with spreadsheets!’
Murray’s move down to London is not the only move the firm has made into the capital, having recently hired James Drace-Francis as an investment director focused on business development. Murray’s role will be twofold, encompassing both his current investment research responsibilities as well assisting Drace-Francis and CEO/CIO Haig Bathgate in growing the firm’s assets under management.
‘From the research side of my role, I want to meet as many fund managers as possible. When I was based in Edinburgh we would do this every six months over a few days, which was exhausting but unbelievably valuable.’
He continues: ‘Part of the reason for my move to London is to be closer to these managers, but also to meet new managers that perhaps wouldn’t come to Edinburgh.’
In terms of offering assistance on the business development side, Murray – whose enormous smile should make him a natural in the field – does not hide his excitement at the prospect of developing his own role.
‘It’s definitely something that I am looking forward to contributing to,’ he tells me.
‘Our target is to increase our assets under management fivefold within the next five years, but we also need to ensure that we embed scalability into the business. We want to ensure that we are positioned to move to the next level, so we are robust enough for new clients to invest very large sums of money with us.’
One way the firm will look to increase its assets is by promoting its own funds, which Tcam has yet to market to third parties, such as the IFA market. Tcam runs three multi-asset funds and has recently launched a direct equity fund, which Murray has been extensively involved in.
‘VT Strategic Value is the first of a potential range of style-biased equity funds, focusing on UK companies with “value” characteristics. The process is comprised of our proprietary stock screening tool, which is complemented by our five-strong research team to select the holdings.
‘Since launch, the fund has risen 16.2%, and is currently 3/256 in the Citywire UK All Companies charts.’
My final question to Murray: what is the best thing about working at Tcam?
‘The great thing about Tcam is that if you’re eager and you put your hand up to do it, you will be given opportunities to do work that is above your level, which is great for your own development.’
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