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What’s your gold story: Ned Naylor-Leyland

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N  ed is the fund manager of the Merian Gold & Silver Fund at Merian Global Investors, a diversified global asset management firm, which is part of the Jupiter Group. Prior to this role, he was the fund manager of Old Mutual’s Gold & Silver Fund, and earlier was Investment Director at Quilter Cheviot Ltd.

“My gold story started around the turn of the millennium. I had become interested in financial markets on the back of reading about the repeal by the Clinton administration in 1999 of the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act, which separated investment banking from retail banking. Glass-Steagall was an attempt permanently to put an end to bank runs and the dangerous practices that gave rise to them – more than 4,000 US banks collapsed during the 10-year long Great Depression which started in 1929. At its height around a quarter of Americans were without a job.

The repeal of Glass-Steagall seemed to me rather brazen; it gave banks the chance to become very big – too big to fail. I considered the implications and became a financial markets’ sceptic. From there I read a fair amount; Ferdinand Lips’ Gold Wars was the book that had the most impact on me and I still recommend it.

I bought physical metal for the first time in early 2002, and became interested in mining equities shortly afterwards. Gold and silver coins speak to the individual very directly and are easy to understand, so I started there. Looking back, it now seems to me like a fairly natural evolution into a two-decade focus on the nature of money itself.

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