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Carmignac: succession, sexiness…and why I’ll never sell the firm

Carmignac: succession, sexiness…and why I’ll never sell the firm

Edouard Carmignac is going to take on a more ‘godfather’ role at the head of his company as he prepares for his inevitable succession, he told his investors at the quarterly meeting in Paris.

The 71-year-old told a packed investment audience that, while he is not ready to call time on his run, succession is a very relevant question that needs to be addressed.

The boutique founder said it was particularly crucial to make sure the company can keep outperforming while remaining independent.

Speaking to an audience of investors, Carmignac said: 'The greatest disservice that I could do to all of you and the overall team at the firm would be to sell this firm to an institution.

'There have been no successes to my knowledge of a fund management firm being bought out by an institution to prevail and keep going well. So it has become my obsession not to sell.'

Carmignac said he is confident capital will remain consistent in the firm and support the managers coming through the ranks.

He said there is a real pool of talent at the firm and the solidity and quality in the general management is a strong foundation.

'My challenge is to make sure that, as the months and years go by, I become - if not irrelevant - but more and more as CIO of the investment side, more of a ‘godfather’ in the overall management of the firm and gradually succeeding it.’

Sex appeal

This will be a gradual process, however, as Carmignac light-heartedly joked about his physical state in response to the question.

'I’m sexier than ever, what’s the problem? I could be Warren Buffett’s son and he’s still around,' he said. 'I will select in due course my successor but it’s not only my decision.'

Opening the quarterly meeting, Carmignac faced up to disappointing performance figures from last year. He said: 'Performances were not up to your expectations and were far from mine.'

Carmignac will return to previous levels of performance he assured the audience of investors. 'The disappointing performance was largely down to changes in markets but also in the company.'

Looking at markets, Carmignac said central banks remain the clear focus given the three decades of liquidity which have been pumped into global markets.

'As the cycle gradually returns to norm, our macro analysis will recover its rationale,' Carmignac added.

Meanwhile, more strong global growth is expected in the coming year but Europe could outperform the rest of the world, according to the French asset management head.

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