Terry Smith, one of the UK’s most popular fund managers, took home almost £30m in 2020 after a bumper year for his asset management company, Fundsmith.
The veteran stockpicker, who has amassed a large following among retail investors, pocketed £29.7m, almost double the £16.2m received a year earlier, according to accounts filed with Companies House.
The bumper pay package, part of a profit sharing agreement between eight Fundsmith partners, comes on the back of soaring profits at the investment company he set up in 2010 and makes Smith one of the best paid executives in the fund industry.
Larry Fink, chief executive of BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, also received a big pay rise in 2020, 18 per cent, but still took home less than Smith at $29.9m.
Fundsmith declined to comment on the figures, which were first reported by Financial News. The fund manager’s financial statement for the 12 months to the end of March 2020 shows that pre-tax profits reached £48.5m, up 84 per cent from £26.4m a year earlier. Turnover was £228m, up from £165m.
The group’s assets under management was £33.2bn at the end of March, up from £23.3bn a year earlier. It acknowledged in the filing that the Covid-19 pandemic continued to cause “extensive disruption to businesses” but added it had “sufficient liquid capital . . . for the provision of investment services”.
Fundsmith’s flagship fund has £23bn of assets under management. Despite concerns about its size and potential liquidity issues following the collapse of Neil Woodford’s investment business, the group has continued to prove popular with investors.
Often referred to as Britain’s answer to Warren Buffett, Smith won over legions of private investors and wealth managers by generating stellar returns year after year. The group’s Fundsmith equity fund, which launched more than a decade ago, returned 18.3 per cent last year and 25.6 per cent in 2019. Since inception it has recorded annualised returns of 17.9 per cent.
Last year, Smith told the Financial Times that he was “not worried one iota” about a sustained recession caused by the pandemic lockdown. The fund manager’s investment strategy is to make bold bets on a small number of companies and hold them for a long time, paying little attention to macro issues. His largest holdings include PayPal, Microsoft, Estee Lauder and L’Oréal.
Overall 23 staff at Fundsmith shared a further £11.5m, up from £8.8m a year earlier.