Meet the manager: Matt Betts

Matt Betts
UK small & mid cap portfolio manager, BlackRock

Capital at risk. The value of investments and the income from them can fall as well as rise and are not guaranteed. Investors may not get back the amount originally invested.

Risk: This material is not intended to be relied upon as a forecast, research or investment advice, and is not a recommendation, offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities or financial product or to adopt any investment strategy. The opinions expressed are as of October 2022 and may change as subsequent conditions vary.

How long have you been investing in UK Equities?

7 years.

What excites you about investing in the UK equity market?

As a genuine global financial centre, the UK equity market is a remarkably broad one. Many globally leading businesses are listed here and, particularly lower down the market cap spectrum, many leaders of the future are emerging. Supported by a strong equity culture and strong capital markets the UK continues to be a great place to find and invest in many high quality, globally focused, growth businesses and unearthing these is always exciting.

Equity risk: The value of equities and equity-related securities can be affected by daily stock market movements. Other influential factors include political, economic news, company earnings and significant corporate events.

What role do you believe the products that you work on play in a client’s portfolio?

I manage smaller companies portfolios within the product set. We believe an allocation to smaller companies can deliver differentiated source of outperformance in an area of the market often written off by others. We have a philosophy centred around high-quality growth companies. By looking where others don’t, we find exciting investment opportunities that fit our philosophy, often trading at cheaper valuation to their larger peers. Over time this approach has generated significant outperformance of the products.

Smaller companies risk: Smaller company investments are often associated with greater investment risk than those of larger company shares.  

What would you say has been the most memorable time period of your investment career?

Without doubt the early innings of the COVID crisis were the most memorable of my career to date. The nature of the crisis and the response by governments, central banks and individual companies were completely unprecedented and precipitated the largest changes to economic and social behaviour for at least a generation, perhaps ever. Navigating that environment whilst adapting to the rapid transition to remote working was certainly memorable! Nevertheless, the investment opportunities thrown up by the crisis were very exciting, markets changed overnight, structural changes accelerated and the opportunities for strong companies to take market share increased dramatically. These changes are still playing out and are part of the reason its so interesting to work as a fund manager today.

How do you think about environment, social and governance (ESG) factors when analysing companies?

As long-term investors in quality growth companies, E, S and G factors have always been top of our minds. We have always sought to assess the sustainability of the returns earned by companies we invest in. If a company’s profitability is generated by poor environmental or social practices (e.g. mis-treating employees or not properly fulfilling their environmental responsibilities) then they are far less likely to be able to sustainably grow over time, and therefore are a much less attractive investment for us. Equally, companies with poor governance controls are more likely to destroy shareholder value over the long term and therefore we have long focused on governance and the quality of management teams in our analysis.

ESG Investment Statements: This information should not be relied upon as research, investment advice, or a recommendation regarding any products, strategies, or any security in particular. This is for illustrative and informational purposes and is subject to change. It has not been approved by any regulatory authority or securities regulator.

The environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) considerations discussed herein may affect an investment team’s decision to invest in certain companies or industries from time to time. Results may differ from portfolios that do not apply similar ESG considerations to their investment process.