e-fundresearch: Mr Jon Sigurdsen, you are the fund manager of the Carlson Fund - DnB NOR Renewable Energy (ISIN: LU0302296149). Since when are your responsible for the fund management?
Sigurdsen: April 2007
e-fundresearch: Which benchmark do you adhere to?
Sigurdsen: NEX (WilderHill New Energy Global Innovation Index)
e-fundresearch: Are you also responsible for other funds at the moment?
Sigurdsen: No other separate fund but I do carveouts of other funds such as the semiconductor part of our global long-only product. I also deliver a carveout into Skandia Global Hedge.
e-fundresearch: What is the total volume that you manage in all your funds?
Sigurdsen: Including the carveouts, I manage approximately € 300m.
e-fundresearch: Regarding the performance: which performance did you achieve since the beginning of the year and in the years 2003-2008? Absolutely and relatively to the relevant benchmark?
Sigurdsen: In SEK, read DnB NOR Renewable Energy fund return, Index return and Difference
e-fundresearch: How content are you with your own performance in the last years and this year?
Sigurdsen: I am very satisfied with the results as they are very strong, but there are indeed always things that could have been better and we always look for ways to improve our work. I try to learn from what went well as well as from what went bad.
e-fundresearch: How are you able to deliver added value for your investors with your performance?
Sigurdsen: We have outperformed the index significantly and also delivered good absolute return since I got responsibility for the fund. I believe this outperformance is the best possible way I can deliver value to investors. We will stay focused and doing all we can to continue to deliver excess return to investors will be our main target. I believe I am good at thinking independently and take good decisions based on that.
e-fundresearch: How long have you been a fund manager already?
Sigurdsen: I have been a fund manager since September 2005.
e-fundresearch: What were your biggest successes and your biggest disappointments in your career as fund manager?
Sigurdsen: My biggest success is that I feel that I am good at developing as a fund manager and work a little bit smarter all the time. You have to work different than the others in order to succeed I believe, and to be successful you need to find your own formula. I think I am good at developing this and so far the results from my work has been outstanding. My biggest disappointments is when I have analysed an investment case wrong and end up loosing money. There are some examples where I have perceived a company to be very attractive due to its strong position, but it has later shown that this company was not in a strong position as all. To learn from your mistakes like this is very valueable in itself.
e-fundresearch: What kind of capital market situation do we have at the moment? How do you act in this environment?
Sigurdsen: At the moment I would classify the market situation as pretty normal, and it does not seem to be a clear direction rather up or down. At the moment the outlook for the macro economies and the state of the various government economies are a lot in focus. It is very likely that the direction of the stock market will be similar to the direction of the changes to GDP forecasts from macro economists. We do not try to take so much capital market risk as we believe that is a very difficult call. We are rather stock pickers so how we act based on the environment is not really such a relevant topic. We pick those stock we find most attractive from a risk/reward basis, and we also try to put together a balanced portfolio that should work relatively well regardless of market environment.
e-fundresearch: What are the special challenges in this environment?
Sigurdsen: The specific challenges in the current environment is that the visibility for top-line growth is low. So when you are investing in stocks where there is a lot of growth expected, you must understand how this growth is tied to overall economy growth and to what extent it is pure structural growth.
e-fundresearch: What objectives do you have till the end of the year and in the mid term for the upcoming 3 to 5 years?
Sigurdsen: My objective is to deliver excess return to my clients, that is a motive every day, and it’s the same for the next 3 to 5 years as well. The way of delivering this is to continue to develop as a portfolio manager and find increasingly better ways to find stocks with high returns and increasingly avoid stocks with losses.
e-fundresearch: Do you model yourself on someone? Any ideals?
Sigurdsen: No, I try to think idendently and develop my own style. I strongly believe in this way.
e-fundresearch: What motivates you in your job?
Sigurdsen: The global stock market is alive almost all the time, so there is never a dull moment. And there is so much you can study and find an angle on that is useful in the market. When you see that your work pays off and you are able to discover issues before the general market, you feel that you have done a good job. This is what motivates me the most. I also believe that business in itself is very interesting, and working as a portfolio manager you learn a lot about businesses, you get very well experience in seeing what works and what does not.
e-fundresearch: What else do you want to achieve or do you have any further aims as a fund manager?
Sigurdsen: I want to develop a deep understanding for all the various aspects around renewable energy so that I more easily can spot future trends and invest successfully accordingly. I believe there are so many angles around renewable energy and particularly around efficient usage of energy. This will become increasinly important in a world with scare resources, so I would like to develop my level of understanding these issues.
e-fundresearch: What other profession would you have taken interest in, apart from becoming a fund manager?
Sigurdsen: I have been obsessed by the stock market since I was 11 years old, so being a fund manager is a luxury to me as I get the opportunity to work with my biggest interest all day long. Honestly I believe being a fund manager is the best profession that suits me, so I don’t really have any objectives other than this. All I want to achieve is to develop to become a better fund manager all the time.
e-fundresearch: Thank you for the interview!
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