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Mike Kerley introduces Henderson Far East Income

Mike talks about how he got into fund management, his passion for cars, and what Henderson Far East Income is all about.

Video transcript

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I have spent most of my life in Surrey. I started off around Kingston-upon-Thames in areas around there. I went to a comprehensive school in Kingston and I did A-levels there but that’s where my education stopped. Unusually for people in this industry I didn’t go to university.

I came into the city at the age of 18 and developed my career from there. I wrote to numerous investment banks at the age of 18 in the city not quite sure which one I wanted to go to or what I wanted to do. to be honest I was lucky enough to get a role at Montague Investment Management which has subsequently become Invesco. I was there eight years and I got invited up to be an assistant on the Asian fund management desk. And really from 1993 I’ve been looking at Asia ever since.

I’ve loved cars all my life. I like watching fast cars. I like driving cars and I have been lucky in the past to do some track days etc which would just whetted the appetite and I suppose it’s got to the point where I’ve thought about it for a number of years and eventually after seeing a race I suppose even my wife kind of said well it’s about time you did this isn’t it. So this year is the year. So what this is, is a series which I’ve joined it’s called the academy. It’s a series of races everyone’s a novice and we’re all going to go out there and have quite a lot of fun. I hope.

Henderson Far East Income is an investment trust that invests in Asia and companies in Asia which pay dividends. I think the interesting thing is that most people think about Asia as just growth and not necessarily about income but because of the amount of cash flow generation and the way the companies are structured. we think the opportunities for dividend growth in Asia is a really exciting opportunity and one that shareholders can take advantage of. We invest in all of Asia, Asia-Pacific so Australia which is more developed, India which is less so and all the markets in between. So China, Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore about 13 or 14 countries in total and we invest in lots of different sectors. So banks, property, technology, industrials these kind of companies and we find there’s a lot of variation a lot of choice for the kind of companies we’re looking for.

My social life is very important. I like to separate work and social life. I think it gives me downtime time to relax time to refocus. when I get back to work. I’m lucky to have a group of friends who have known ever since school days and we get together regularly. We’ve got similar interests although we have careers and our paths are gone in different directions. It’s a it’s a good grounding I think when you go back and revisit what you did in the past.

My approach to managing Henderson Far East is pragmatic. I’ve had a number of years experience in this industry looking at Asian markets for 25 years I’ve seen cycles I’ve seen booms I’ve seen busts and I’d like to think I’ve learned from the experiences of those periods Emotion can rule your investment decisions. Experience allows me to be objective in my decision making and that’s what I think shareholders are paying for.