Giles Hargreave was born in Preston in 1948. He dropped out of Cambridge to become an analyst with securities firm James Capel and would later join Management Agency and Music, managing money for musicians such as Tom Jones.
In 1986 he founded Hargreave Investment Management. He then merged it with Hargreave Hale & Co, a stockbroker owned by relatives, to form Hargreave Hale, which he still chairs. Since 1998 he has run the Marlborough Special Situations, Marlborough UK Micro Cap Growth, and Marlborough UK Nano Cap Growth funds.
What is his strategy?
Hargreave has focused on small- and micro-cap shares because he thinks that this sector has been neglected by most institutional investors. He thinks that the most important thing for small firms is the management, as a company operating in a bad industry can still do well if the management is good enough.
Subscribe to MoneyWeek
Subscribe to MoneyWeek today and get your first six magazine issues absolutely FREE
However, he also has a checklist of other factors he takes into consideration, such as the strength of the balance sheet. His strategy is to own small stakes in what he thinks is the best 10% of companies, and then increase his position if he thinks they are successfully carrying out their strategy.
What are his biggest successes?
One of Hargreave's biggest successes was Advanced Computer Software. He invested in the firm in 2008 with the shares at 18p as he was a big fan of its CEO, Vin Murria. Six years later it was taken over by Vista Partners for 140p a share, a return of 678%, or 41% a year. Hargreave also achieved a return of around 40% a year with Renew Holdings, which he bought in 2011 at an average price of 64p. It now sells for 478p.
What lessons are there for investors?
There are many opportunities in the small-cap sector, so you shouldn't neglect this segment of the market. But you need to make sure the management is trustworthy and the company's finances are sound. The idea of letting your winners run but selling your losers might also help reduce your downside risk, though such a strategy also comes with additional trading costs.
Matthew graduated from the University of Durham in 2004; he then gained an MSc, followed by a PhD at the London School of Economics.
He has previously written for a wide range of publications, including the Guardian and the Economist, and also helped to run a newsletter on terrorism. He has spent time at Lehman Brothers, Citigroup and the consultancy Lombard Street Research.
Matthew is the author of Superinvestors: Lessons from the greatest investors in history, published by Harriman House, which has been translated into several languages. His second book, Investing Explained: The Accessible Guide to Building an Investment Portfolio, is published by Kogan Page.
As senior writer, he writes the shares and politics & economics pages, as well as weekly Blowing It and Great Frauds in History columns He also writes a fortnightly reviews page and trading tips, as well as regular cover stories and multi-page investment focus features.
Follow Matthew on Twitter: @DrMatthewPartri
10 vinyl records worth up to £10,000 - is one in your collection?
News Vinyl is experiencing a resurgence and collectors will pay up to £10,000 for some albums - is it time to dust off your old records?
By Marc Shoffman Published
FCA: Banks are still short-changing savers
The latest FCA review finds that while public shaming has encouraged providers into offering better deals on savings, many of those with closed accounts are still being shortchanged.
By John Fitzsimons Published