Investing in the US with Robin Milway, CEO of Arbrook Investors

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It was a great privilege to talk to Robin Milway, CEO of Arbook Investors and Portfolio Manager of the Arbrook American Equities Fund. He has an excellent track record of investing in US stock markets and was awarded Citywire ‘Star Stockpicker’ during his time at EFG Asset Management. While many in the industry have Finance or Economics degrees, it was fascinating to hear how Robin’s unorthodox background in computer programming (1.23) gives him an edge when investing in the technology-heavy US stock market today (3.18).

Robin was very clear with the requirements of being a successful fund manager (3.46) and I then asked him why he decided to focus on the US stock market (5.40), rather than other developed markets. The US is ‘the most innovative country on the face of the planet’ (6.40) in his opinion and we discuss how US product and service innovation has driven marked improvement in life quality. He then deals with the nasty question of active versus passive investing (9.32) with great clarity and we then discuss setting up his new investment boutique, Arbrook Investors and the drivers behind that bold career move (11.55).

What does he mean by ‘investing for latency’? (14.11) and he uses Google as an example to explain his investment process (14.52). We discuss why he thinks Google has more latency than Facebook (17.17) and how important it is for company management teams ‘to not have skin in the game, but soul in the game.’

We then discuss the digitisation trend that has accelerated due to the pandemic (20.10) and how the investment opportunities are not just in technology names, rather it is about investing in companies that utilise the tools of digitisation to gain advantages over their competition (21.05). He uses a lift company (21.25) to demonstrate how an old economy company can transform itself using technology to become a winner in the new economy. Robin is convinced we are still ‘in the early days’ of this technological revolution (27.00).

I ask Robin about Big Tech (Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Facebook) and the regulatory threat (29.45) and he likens it to the regulation of the banks post the financial crisis. We finish with his advice for anyone looking to enter the Fund Management industry (33.00) and the two people who would be at the top of his dinner party list (36.55) – the first guest was a huge surprise! This was 40 minutes of fascinating listening for me, I hope you enjoy it too.

www.vermeerllp.com

https://www.arbrookinvestors.com/

20 episode