Wealth Manager - the site for professional investment managers

Register to get unlimited access to all of Citywire’s Fund Manager database. Registration is free and only takes a minute.

Simon Brazier: don’t let politics curtail Royal Mail chief's strategy

Simon Brazier: don’t let politics curtail Royal Mail chief's strategy

Threadneedle head of UK equities Simon Brazier has warned against the perils of letting a political agenda prevent Royal Mail chief Moya Greene from driving further change in the business.

Citywire AA-rated Brazier, who runs the Threadneedle UK fund, told Wealth Manager: ‘Moya Greene is a fantastic asset for the Royal Mail and us as shareholders.

‘I want to make sure the political agenda does not mean she is constrained in her ability to bring about the change she wants to do in that business, but also she is not lured away.’

As the largest long-only investor in Royal Mail – holding 3% of equity – Brazier is particularly keen that Greene is remunerated appropriately.

‘There is only one other chief executive in the FTSE 100 who gets paid less than her,’ he said. ‘We are not here to pay money to people for no reason but she has demonstrated that she is a significant asset to the business, so we want to make sure the political agenda is not “let’s beat up Moya Greene”.’

Long-term approach

Having held the stock since its IPO last year, Brazier said Threadneedle is taking a long-term view and will look to buy more if the share price falls.

Although the price has risen hard, he said: ‘We are not investing on a three-month view but on a five-year view. There is a significant amount that Moya Greene can do.’

Royal Mail fits into the fund’s ‘strong franchises and unique assets’ category, which alongside ‘defensive growth’ currently comprises 75% of the portfolio.

This follows a broader reduction in exposure to housebuilders, easyJet and N Brown in favour of Reckitt Benckiser, Smith & Nephew and Diageo.

Likewise, Brazier is positive on AstraZeneca, which he views as trading on a more attractive valuation than many cyclical names.

During the second half of 2013, he has continued to reduce the fund’s underweight in mining, where he looks for self-help so the company isn’t reliant on commodities prices, management change and cost-cutting measures. First Quantum Minerals, Glencore Xstrata and Rio Tinto feature as holdings in the sector.

Over the three years to the end of January, Brazier has posted a 36.46% return versus a FTSE All Share return of 27.65%.

Leave a comment!

Please sign in or register to comment. It is free to register and only takes a minute or two.
Citywire TV
Play JPM’s Negyal: Back divis to temper EM volatility

JPM’s Negyal: Back divis to temper EM volatility

Omar Negyal, co-manager of the JPMorgan Global Emerging Markets Income trust, says a dividend approach to emerging markets reduces the volatility of investing in the asset class.

Play WMR: Why Russia will lose this war

WMR: Why Russia will lose this war

Author and journalist Adam Lebor believes a perfect storm is brewing when it comes to the Russian economy. .

Play WMR: Gerard Lyons warns Asia is the real risk, not Russia & Ukraine

WMR: Gerard Lyons warns Asia is the real risk, not Russia & Ukraine

Chief economic adviser to London mayor Boris Johnson outlines the geo-political risks in Asia and explains why the risk of another eurozone crisis must not be underestimated.

Your Business: Cover Star Club

Profile: 'new normal' now is as dangerous as when it was applied to tech

Profile: 'new normal' now is as dangerous as when it was applied to tech

7IM's CIO Chris Darbyshire says he has been re-energised by his new role, but has little time for 'new normal' doom-mongers

Wealth Manager on Twitter