Zehrid Osmani joined Martin Currie in 2018 and now heads up their Global Long-Term Unconstrained, US Unconstrained and European Unconstrained Funds as well as their five-star rated Global Portfolio Trust.
The keen runner and tennis player, who uses sport to deal with the quick-paced and high-pressure environment of the investment world, is an expert in running unconstrained, high-conviction, long-term portfolios, as he did previously at BlackRock. Not being tethered to the benchmark gives Osmani’s teams the license to select from their very best ideas stocks.
He recognises that definitions of ‘long-term’ differ between investors. For him, it means five to ten years. He outlines the strategy of his Global Unconstrained Fund as seeking sustainable outperformance of the market and resilience to economic uncertainty. Updating on the fund at the end of last year, Osmani highlighted environmentally-friendly, medical and cloud infrastructure spending as post-pandemic opportunities for the fund.
Rather unusually, Osmani has steered away from the traditional exposures to US tech giants Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google, known collectively as FAANG. When questioned on this last summer, he defended his approach, citing seeing more attractive growth and valuation upside elsewhere as the basis for this decision.
Osmani has publicly congratulated those companies who have donated to frontline healthcare services over the past year, praising the good corporate citizenship which underpins making moral decisions in periods of crisis.
While he has been reported as saying that markets have recovered quickly as the market shifts its focus from short to mid-term considerations, he still advises caution when forecasting the rate of future recovery. He predicts a gradual recovery to previous levels of activity by 2022 but warns that the sharp improvement in PMI data that we are currently experiencing, gives the false impression of a rapid ‘V’ shaped recovery, when in fact he is doubtful that the current momentum will continue.
Over a long track record, Osmani has maintained a consistently high alpha score in both rising and falling markets and has routinely outperformed the peer group. The evidence all points to his instincts – and even unconventional choices – being solid.