Terry Smith: I'm not used to being ignored

Running a £20bn fund doesn’t guarantee good treatment from the companies you invest in.

Terry Smith, chief executive, Fundsmith

Running a £20bn fund doesn’t guarantee good treatment from the companies you invest in, as Terry Smith, the manager of the Fundsmith Equity Fund, has found. When Amadeus, the Spanish company that provides booking software for airlines and other travel providers, raised €1.5bn to help see it through the coronavirus crisis by issuing new shares and convertible bonds at the start of April, Fundsmith wasn’t asked to take part in the fundraising, Smith tells Sky News.

Small investors are used to their pre-emption rights – the principle that existing shareholders should have first refusal when companies issue new shares – being ignored. But most people would have expected a fund as large as Fundsmith to be included: it’s Amadeus’s fifth-largest shareholder and has been invested for seven years, says Smith. But “they never even bothered to call us and neither did anyone acting for them”. Fundsmith is now re-evaluating whether to keep the stock, he suggested. “When they make bad decisions of that sort, it undermines our confidence in them.”

However, the crisis has created other opportunities for Smith, who invested in sportswear giant Nike and coffee chain Starbucks after the two firms had seen their shares fall almost 40%. “They are both good businesses that we have long wanted to own and we thought we had an opportunity there.” He also sold Clorox, which makes cleaning products, having bought it just four months ago, after its share price rose by almost 30% in the first four months of the year.

Recommended

Share tips of the week – 2 December
Share tips

Share tips of the week – 2 December

MoneyWeek’s comprehensive guide to the best of this week’s share tips from the rest of the UK's financial pages.
2 Dec 2022
Is it cheaper to leave the heating on low all day?
Personal finance

Is it cheaper to leave the heating on low all day?

The weather is getting colder and energy bills are rising, but is it really cheaper to leave the heating on low all day or should you only turn it on …
1 Dec 2022
The best offers for switching banks – get up to £200 free cash
Personal finance

The best offers for switching banks – get up to £200 free cash

Looking to move bank accounts? You can now bag as much as £200 for switching current accounts from two major banks
1 Dec 2022
UK stock market opening times: when will the stock market close for Christmas?
Stockmarkets

UK stock market opening times: when will the stock market close for Christmas?

Here is everything you need to know about UK stock market opening times during the Christmas period of 2022.
1 Dec 2022

Most Popular

Fan heater vs oil heater – which is cheaper?
Personal finance

Fan heater vs oil heater – which is cheaper?

Sales of portable heaters have soared, as households look to cut their energy costs. But which is better: a fan heater or an oil heater? We put them t…
21 Nov 2022
Best regular savings accounts – December 2022
Savings

Best regular savings accounts – December 2022

You can earn an attractive rate on the best regular savings accounts. We tell you the best on the market to take advantage of right now
1 Dec 2022
2 investment trusts with growing dividends: which one should you invest in?
Investment trusts

2 investment trusts with growing dividends: which one should you invest in?

They might not have spectacular yields but these two trusts have increased their dividend every year for 55 years.
24 Nov 2022