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Nick Hornby co-founded Cerno with CIO James Spence when the pair (who Hornby reckons have sat together in ‘at least 10,000’ meetings with fund managers) raised £25 million from friends and family in 2006-07. The duo were then approached by two UHNWs looking for management of £180 million made from selling their financial services business in 2008: it was a significant moment for the Mayfair boutique, which quickly went from a small business with £25 million and four staff to having more than £200 million in AuM.
Cerno is now at an ‘important stage’, explains the affable and astute Hornby: indeed, the firm continues to grow, thanks not least to the CEO’s skill at forming relationships, as well as his attention to detail. ‘Clients are happy – people like the fact they are able to have access to James and myself as the two managing partners,’ he says.
Hornby highlights the launch of Cerno’s Global Leaders Fund, an ‘incredibly’ long-term investment strategy which he has been working on with clients for four years: ‘It’s selecting 25 global equities that, hopefully, we will own for ever’. The idea is to secure a series of heavy, long-term hits.
‘Intimate, astute, honest, diligent and straightforward – he sets out to understand and tailor to clients’ needs,’ says one of Hornby’s clients. ‘Resourceful and flexible,’ says another.