Sceptre Investment Management previously operated between 2005 and 2009 as the manager of the Sceptre UK Fund. The Fund, which is now closed, achieved good investment returns by investing in a concentrated portfolio of undervalued equities.
The Sceptre UK Fund was managed by Chris Broadhurst (1959-2009) and Luke Howard Taylor, who is now the Director of Sceptre Investment Management.
Lipper, Inc. provided performance analysis showing that over the life of the Fund it ranked 4th from 1,260 peers. In the last 12 months of operation the Fund was the best performing UK Equity fund from their universe of 1,907 funds.
The Fund was liquidated following the death of the manager, Chris Broadhurst, in August 2009.
The performance of the UK Fund and the unchanged portfolio existing at the end of July 2009 (Continuation holding) is shown below against the FTSE All Share Total Return Index. This illustrates the value created in the portfolio in the 2008-9 period. The Fund held ~17% cash at the market peak in 2007.
Biography of Chris Broadhurst (dec'd)
Chris was the founder and principal of Sceptre Investment Management until 2009. After a degree in Physics at Oxford University and an MBA from London Business School he joined the equity department of Goldman, Sachs & Co. in New York in 1987. After transferring to London in 1988, he was responsible for EMEA equity derivatives. In 1991 Chris joined Nomura International Plc. and started to build the equity derivatives department. In 1998 he co-founded Phoenix Asset Management Partners and established the Phoenix UK Fund which returned over 14% pa in its first 6 years of existence. Chris left Phoenix Asset Management (www.pamp.co.uk) in September 2004 and founded Sceptre Investment Management in March 2005. Chris died in August 2009.
Biography of Luke Howard Taylor
After an early interest in cryptography and quantum mechanics, Luke joined Sceptre in 2005. He was studying Theoretical Physics at Imperial College London and Chris read a paper he had written on pricing of derivatives using stochastic volatility. He worked as the sole employee of Sceptre, beside Chris, and became a shareholder of the company in 2006. After Chris's death in 2009 he liquidated the Sceptre UK Fund and joined Longview Partners in early 2010, going on sabbatical at the end of 2020 and retiring as a Partner in early 2021. During his time there he was part of a team of 6 that managed an average of approximately $20bn. In 2020 he was more focused on the automation of managing global large cap securities, which he believes is increasingly becoming a data science problem, rather than an analytical problem in the spirit of Security Analysis on which he trained.
Between 2015-2020, alongside his work at Longview, he managed a personal family hedge fund which achieved the gross result shown above. It held an average of 44% of assets in cash during this period and handily beat similar risk portfolios. It was managed on a long-only and antifragile basis. Some of the securities held were of an esoteric nature such as Perpetual Preferred Securities and Index Put Options - there was no leverage or shorting involved or complicated derivatives.
"The market is not always efficient"