"I'm not in the camp of 'the world's about to come to an end'": FTSE 100 private equity boss backs business to succeed after Brexit and Trump votes

 
William Turvill
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Simon Borrows has been chief executive of 3i since May 2012

The chief executive of FTSE 100 investment group 3i believes Donald Trump and the Republicans can be a boost for business.

Asked what impact President Trump would have on the company, Simon Borrows said: “Republican administrations tend to be good for business and good for the markets. So I’m not overly concerned about the impact of our portfolio in the US. I think it could be quite good for it.”

He added: “I’m not in the camp of ‘the world’s about to come to an end’ because of these two votes [Trump and Brexit].

“I think business just needs to get on with business and find a way through obstacles that are put in front of it.”

Read more: 3i sells debt management business to InvestCorp

Borrows, who has been in charge of the private equity group since May 2012, is also relaxed about the UK’s Brexit vote.

In fact, his company has benefited from the devaluation of sterling because 70 per cent of its assets are denominated in euros or US dollars.

“In the first three years as CEO of the group we had a strengthening sterling – so a headwind for us,” he told City A.M. “It’s quite nice to get a tailwind for a while, in terms of the translation effect on the portfolio.”

The company today reported a net asset value (NAV) per share of 551p, up from 401p a year ago, and a dividend per share of 8p for the six months to 30 September, up from 6p.

This morning, its share price fell nearly five per cent to 623p. But shares are up from below 470p after June’s EU referendum.

3i 3i | mobile image

Read more: Private equity firms backed to capitalise on Brexit opportunities

Despite the benefits of having non-UK assets, Borrows said he does not see 3i making a “dramatic change” to the proportion of its British investments.

Borrows is also feeling reasonably positive about mergers and acquisitions (M&A), globally and for the UK.

He said: “I would say our investment pipeline of possible deals is probably as interesting as it’s ever been, in both private equity and infrastructure.

“So I would expect to see a reasonable level of M&A continuing, without it being exceptional.”

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