United Kingdom

The beach can wait! Star stock picker Terry Smith rules out early retirement

Fund manager Terry Smith has lined up several younger staff who could take the helm at his firm – but dismissed talk of retirement any time soon. 

The popular stock-picker, whose flagship Fundsmith Equity fund manages around £23billion of savers' money, has been the driving force since he founded the firm 11 years ago. 

But loyal investors have begun to worry that the 67-year-old may decide to retire and leave his firm in the lurch. 

Staying put: Terry Smith, whose flagship Fundsmith Equity fund manages around £23bn of savers' money, has been the driving force since he founded the firm 11 years ago

At Fundsmith's annual investor meeting this week, held online due to the pandemic, Smith reassured savers that the firm had a plan in place for when he left. 

For several years Smith, who is based in Mauritius, has been priming his right-hand man, 58-year-old Julian Robins, as his successor. 

But following a question from a worried investor at the meeting, Smith said: 'We now have taken on new colleagues and I would say some of those colleagues certainly show the kind of form that might make them worthy successors in due course.' 

But he insisted he had no plans to retire, and would stick around for the foreseeable future. 

He said: 'The standing joke at the moment is Julian may become the Prince Charles of Fundsmith – I may, like Her Maj, stay on for an improbable amount of time, and one of the Prince Williams may step forward.' 

The feted fund manager also dismissed the prospect of buying bitcoin, the crypto-currency which has also shot up in value over the past year. 

He said: 'That's not investing, that's something else – that's speculating.' 

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