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Cru’s Maguire rounds on Dampier over private equity remarks

Cru chairman Jon Maguire has called on Hargreaves Lansdown head of research Mark Dampier to explain his comments with regards to the CF Arch cru portfolio.

The fund, which invests in private equity, is one of the few to have produced positive returns in the past 12 months.

However, Dampier questioned the long-term success of the fund in a national newspaper over the weekend.

He says: “It invests in private equity and I don’t see why that’s immune to a downturn, so I have a questionmark over this fund. People need to be very careful that they don’t just buy into top-performing funds without understanding their underlying philosophy.”

Maguire has responded in an open letter to Dampier, stating that the pre-IPO market has some “absolute diamonds” in it, “backed by owners of businesses who understand that you do not sell into public markets when your profits are enjoying vertical take-off”.

He says: “I would like you to answer me one simple question; “What year would you have bought shares in Hargreaves Lansdown? From incorporation to listing, name me the year.

“We are very gifted at getting this answer right, which is why our performance leaves the competition for dead.”

Dampier says: “He’s right that firms do look better pre-IPO, but I stand by my remark. Private equity has not done badly in recent times but share prices will vary as seen in 2000-2003, and with private equity you do not get a market valuation and a gap in knowledge.”

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