Terry Smith joined Barclays (BARC) as a freshly-minted history graduate in 1974 following an interview milkround with household names from Unilever (ULVR) to Marks and Spencer (MKS). Not one to shy away from a challenge, Smith chose Barclays because they gave him the toughest interview, and he liked that. He became prominent as the UK’s top-rated banking analyst throughout the 1980s and in 1992 published the blockbuster 'Accounting for Growth' which exposed accounting malpractices and frauds of the time - and also cost him his job at UBS (called UBS Phillips & Drew at the time).
Smith is now best known for his hugely successful career as a fund manager, having set up Fundsmith and managed its flagship Fundsmith Equity Fund (GB00B41YBW71) since its inception in November 2010. The fund has become the most popular open-ended actively managed fund based in the UK, with assets of £27.9bn on 30 November, according to data from FE Analytics.
The fund has delivered an annualised return of 18.4 per cent between inception and the end of November 2021 - far outstripping the MSCI World index which has a comparative annualised return of 12.8 per cent. In a recent Investors’ Chronicle podcast, which can be found on our website and all major podcast channels, Smith to shared some of the secrets of his success.