Last Thursday morning over 70 of the Island's finance professionals were advised that although the worst of the economic and banking crisis is behind them there could still be a lot of surprises ahead and that managers will need to be active and nimble to make money for their clients in 2010.

The Spearpoint forum ‘2010 – A Year on: Armageddon Avoided, Opportunity Grasped, What Next?’, held at The Club and Spa, was addressed by Kevin Boscher, Spearpoint’s Chief Investment Officer and Mark Despres, Head of Fixed Income. Kevin and Mark briefly reviewed the events of the past year and presented their views on the likely economic and market environment for 2010. With over 35 years’ investment experience between them, the speakers also examined some of the key risks and issues for the coming year.

Kevin and Mark delivered a fascinating presentation and were brave enough to remind the audience of the statements they made at the event last year where they predicted that Governments and central banks would eventually be successful in their reflationary efforts; the U.S., Japan, China and Asia would lead the equity recovery; investment grade corporate and selective high yield bonds would be very attractive on a medium term view; Government bond yields would stay low for some time; a powerful equity rally was likely over the coming 6-12 months and Gold should be a major beneficiary of the massive global monetary and fiscal easing.

Kevin went on to say “The Armageddon scenario has slowly unwound since March last year. Whilst we expect another year of attractive returns for investors, they will need to be vigilant and willing to change strategy quickly due to the unstable nature of the world economy and the increasing risk of policy error by the authorities. Preservation of capital remains key in the current circumstances.”

After achieving spectacular results during what has been a very challenging year, the delegates had particular interest in Spearpoint’s predictions for the year ahead:

o 2010 will see a synchronised, but unbalanced global economic recovery
o The strength of recovery will likely surprise on the upside
o Current forecasts are very pessimistic in an historical context
o The outlook for inflation and interest rates is benign for the G7
o The path of the US Dollar will be a key factor for 2010

With a recent *'best in class’ ranking for the performance of The Spearpoint All Weather Bond Fund, Mark Despres was quick to point out the attractions of an actively managed Fund such as his in the face of mounting fiscal, political and Sovereign risks in the UK market and the implications they have for Sterling Bonds over the coming year.

Both speakers stayed to answer questions from delegates and discuss the issues raised.
–Ends –

Notes to Editor:
*Spearpoint All Weather Bond Fund was rated best performing Bond Fund over 12 months to the end of 2009 by Morningstar in the European Open Ended Funds Sterling Government Bond peer group.

Kevin Boscher has over 25 years investment experience predominantly in the areas of asset allocation, multi-manager investing, absolute return investing, hedge funds and other alternative asset classes. Prior to joining Spearpoint, Kevin was CIO at Collins Stewart where he worked for 11 years. He had specific responsibility for the top quartile Fund of Hedge Funds, the Collins Stewart Absolute Return Plus Fund, which delivered returns in excess of 10% over the 5 year period of his management with very low volatility. Kevin is the Lead Manager of the Spearpoint All Weather Fund and is a Fellow of the Securities and Investment Institute.

Mark Despres has over a decade of experience in capital markets along with an accomplished record as a Fund Manager. His previous employers include Kleinwort Benson and Collins Stewart, where he was responsible for a number of listed Funds, institutional and private client portfolios. Mark is the Lead Manager of the Spearpoint All Weather Bond Fund. He has a first class honours degree in Mathematics.