How do you contrast between picking companies and picking industries? The one is integral to the other. The obvious latch points are the companies but we always need to understand their environments. We own VISA and therefore it is necessary to have a view on the whole marketplace including MasterCard and to an extent American Express. The big tide here is the shift from credit to debit and how the rising mix of e-commerce is pulling returns up. The big existential risk is that a platform such as Alipay gains access and related technologies undermines the incumbents. Semiconductors is an example of an industry where competition has been winnowed down by virtue of the increasing capital costs of capex and R&D to compete at the cutting edge. In 2000, 28 companies were capable of producing chips with the most advanced technology. Today that number is 3. We own Samsung and TSMC within the portfolio. The relentless ratchet in spending requirements is well illustrated by the cost to purchase the newest photolithography machines for EUV from ASML. These cost some 4x the prior generation. The next phase machines will cost 2x this again. The extremity of the technological frontier in semiconductors [...]
On Wednesday 31st July, we hosted our annual evening of Rounders and BBQ, with six teams joining us to battle it out in Regent’s Park. This year, we were thrilled to be partnering with Greenhouse Sports, a London based charity that uses sports coaching and mentoring to empower young people who are facing disadvantage to help them unlock their full potential. We had a number of the Greenhouse coaches join us on the evening to help show us the ropes, and join in on the pitches. We were lucky to have a dry evening after a few afternoon showers, and players and spectators soon got into the swing of the games. After some hotly contested matches, the Pink team (Farrer & Co) won the tournament by a ½ rounder, although there were some fantastic moments in all games that made for some very exciting play throughout the evening with plenty of fantastic catches and even a few full rounders. Thanks to all of those who took part to make it such a great evening: BDB Pitmans, PAM, Seddons, Penningtons Manches, Farrer & Co, Withers, Canter Holland and of course, Greenhouse Sports. We have uploaded more photos taken [...]
Outside In and Cerno Capital are pleased to present Outside In: Discover, an exhibition celebrating artwork by three Outside In artists. Outside In was founded in 2006 at Pallant House Gallery and became an independent charity in 2016 following a highly successful decade. The award-winning charity works to provide a platform for people who face significant barriers to the art world whether due to health, disability, social circumstances or isolation, and currently supports 2,600 artists. We were able to collaborate with Outside In for this exhibition, displaying colourful works that are varied in style and representative of artists from diverse backgrounds reflecting Outside In’s inclusive ethos. All three exhibiting artists create work with strong, vibrant imagery, each with a very unique and distinct practice. Nnena Kalu works in an obsessive and determined way to develop a range of work with an underlying approach of a systematic layering. In the works on display, she uses repetitive lines which she draws in circular motion, responding to the rhythm and noise of creating the work. Once she has applied a painted background, she creates repeated lines with a circular motion, frequently following the same route to create heavily worked into vortex shapes and [...]
On Wednesday 25th July, we hosted an evening of Rounders and BBQ, letting six teams battle it out in Regent’s Park for a range of prizes. We were lucky to have a beautiful evening for the event, and players and spectators soon got into the swing of the games. After some hotly contested matches, the Pink team (Strabens Hall and Bircham Dyson Bell) won the tournament, although there were some fantastic moments in all games that made for some very exciting play throughout the evening. Thanks to all of those who took part to make it such a great evening: Bircham Dyson Bell, Strabens Hall, Pennington Manches, Laura Devine, Withers, Seddons, FED London, DWF Law, RSM, Panthera and Farrer & Co. We have uploaded more photos taken throughout the night to our Flickr account here.
On Wednesday 24th May, we held our annual Investor Update at our offices on Sackville Street. Clients and friends of the firm joined us for an afternoon of presentations given by the Investment Team, before drinks and an exhibition of photographic works by Naomi Baker and Linnea Rheborg, the two Getty Images interns we have been supporting over the past year. James Spence and Fergus Shaw led the presentations commenting on the world as we see it, updates to our investment strategies and global themes that we will be following in the coming year, before being joined by the full Investment Team for Q&A. In particular, James and Fergus were keen to mention the below points: Uncertainty in investment should not of itself be feared. It is the locus of investment returns. Valuations require attention, but the biggest risks reside in so called “safe” assets such as bonds. Several changes in allocation in the past 12 months: notably the sale of gold and US inflation linked bonds. The addition of a China small cap specialist to portfolios and a new investment in Funding Circle, which channels credit to smaller scale commercial enterprises. Following the investment presentations, Naomi and Linnea joined [...]
On Wednesday 14th March, we hosted a small private dinner at Justerini & Brooks, St James’s. Founded in 1749, Justerini & Brooks holds one of the longest running Royal warrants and has been a supplier to every British monarch since the coronation of King George III in 1761. We were thrilled to be joined by Alex Turnbull of Justerini & Brooks who expertly led us a tasting of wines, both Old World and New World, whilst James Spence spoke on our current global market views. A full list of the wines sampled as below: Starter: Mersault, Les Charmes Dessus, 1er Cru, Chateau de Mersault 2014 Aristos Chardonnay 2011 (Chile) Main Clarence de Haut Brion 2010 Heitz Vineyards Trailside 2004 Cheese Guiseppe Mascarello Santo Stefano di Perno Barolo 2012 (Italy) David & Nadia Siebritskloof 2016 (South Africa) Pudding Alvear 1927 Pedro Ximenez For more information on Justerini & Brooks, please click here.
On Wednesday 6th September, Cerno Capital hosted a dinner with George Bullard, the world-record breaking explorer and endurance athlete. At the age of 19, George completed the world’s longest fully unsupported polar journey – a feat described by Sir Ranulph Fiennes as “genuinely ground-breaking”. George has since covered more than 2000 miles on foot in the polar regions, and has completed 17 expeditions across the world, guiding over 300 people. Excelling as an explorer and endurance athlete, George has since sailed in the TransAtlantic Race, led youth development programmes in the Amazon and facilitated scientific research expeditions in the Antarctica. Most recently, George partnered with fellow adventurer, Olly Hicks, to paddle a 26ft kayak the perilous 2,000km from Greenland to Iceland to retrace the journey of ‘Finnmen’ – the Scottish name for the Inuits reportedly spotted off the coast of Scotland in 1728 having ventured across the sea. The adventures that George has undertaken has led him to encourage others to embark on their own adventures, to embrace their strengths and overcome their weaknesses, confront the challenge of the ‘unthinkable’, and pursue the sweet feeling of adventure ecstasy. George is currently working with IGO, creating a series of challenges and [...]
On Tuesday 4th July, we partnered with Nyetimber, the award-winning English sparkling wine maker, to host a Summer Party celebrating 10 years of Cerno Capital.
On Tuesday 9th May, Cerno Capital hosted a private dinner with Isabel Spearman OBE, image and brand consultant and former special adviser to Samantha Cameron.
Breaking Waves – Dinner with Hannah White On Wednesday 18th January 2016, Cerno Capital hosted a dinner with Hannah White, one of the female adventurers the firm has been supporting. Following the dinner, Laura Winter, sports journalist and presenter, met up with Hannah to catch up on Project Speedbird, Hannah's attempt to break the world speed sailing record over 500m and one nautical mile. Hannah White thought she had her life meticulously planned, at least for a few years or so. From her latest challenge, her bid to break the world speed sailing record over 500m and one nautical mile, to her broadcasting career presenting the sailing on BT Sport, the adventurer was in control and on task. And while the weather, or more precisely the lack of strong winds, played havoc with her record attempt, what was to come next would throw all of her carefully laid plans “out the window” and change her life forever. “I’m pregnant!” White declared. “And it’s an extraordinary feeling. I got married in December 2015 and after two miscarriages we found out last October I was pregnant. You want something so badly, and then it comes and you suddenly think, “oh [...]