Learning from the Lionesses: Wiegman’s winning ways

Ian Rees

Deputy Head of Premier Miton’s Multi-asset Multi-manager funds

Ian Rees, Head of Research and Deputy Head of Premier Miton’s multi-asset multi-manager funds, enjoyed watching the management prowess of Serina Wiegman at this year’s Euro football championship. How do the skills on show provide some useful lessons for the England men’s manager Gareth Southgate, as well as for investment professionals?

Three key lessons
Watching the success of the England team in the 2022 UEFA Women’s Euro Tournament, it was difficult to not be impressed by the organisational prowess of the manager Serina Wiegman. Besides marvelling at the victorious squad of individually talented players, fitting them together to play as a team was the job of the manager.

Those skills can provide some useful lessons for the England men’s manager Gareth Southgate, as well as for investment professionals managing a multi-manager portfolio.

I think Serina Wiegman demonstrated three key lessons on her path to success with the women’s team: setting a long-term strategy, careful squad selection of players and having the sense to be tactical, when necessary, without compromising the overall strategy.

Setting the strategy
Football, like managing money, is competitive, team-orientated, driven by results and league tables, and difficult to predict. It is therefore important you set a clear strategy and goal at the outset. This provides a route-map to follow and whilst it may not reflect the actual journey that is made, it will serve to instil confidence on the direction and keep sights focused on the key outcome.

Any manager will know that the journey to success will not be a series of endless victories. Pragmatism will be required in recognising there will be setbacks on the way – not every match is predictable or will be won. Whilst the key is to win more than you lose and win when it matters, it is important to learn from any defeats to build in constant improvements.

Having a sensible, considered, clear plan helps to maintain confidence and conviction even when the occasional result is not as expected. For both a fund manager and football manager, retaining discipline to a prescribed objective helps to encourage performance to be a mindset as opposed to an explicit target.

Player selection
Whilst the temptation is to fill a squad of ‘star players’ or ‘galacticos’, more consistent results are achieved by selecting a team that can demonstrate a diversity of talent yet work together towards a shared goal. We see this in investing where a well-balanced diversified portfolio aims to produce smoother returns than that delivered by individual asset classes or managers all adopting a similar investment style.

Yes, talent is a must, but as we have seen with historic results from the England men’s football team, anchoring to big name players without any regard as to their fitness and how they play with the rest of the squad, generally leads to underperformance for the team as a whole. It should be remembered that in team sport, success is not about a star’s performance, although it can lift the squad on a temporary basis, but about the durability of performance across the team.

Balance is key
When building a squad or fund, the manager has to define their style of play. They also need to have a good understanding of the pools of talent they can access in building their squad. A great manager will know that balance needs to be built in the squad with complementing, not competing skills and roles, so they should avoid the lure of trying to shoe-horn three Ronaldos, two Messis and a Neymar Jr onto the pitch at outset.

As Leicester City proved in 2016 when they won the premiership league, having a cohesive fit of players in the team who themselves were seeking to become the next generation of star players, proved a winning recipe for success.

The hairdryer treatment
Player selection is a very visible demonstration of a manager’s conviction in selecting the most suitable candidates. While star players can have a role in boosting morale and bringing experience to the squad, they may equally do the reverse if they seek to dominate proceedings. In that regard, you only have to look at another football manager great, in the person of Sir Alex Ferguson, who let it be clear in the years of managing Manchester United that no individual player was bigger than the team. A lesson that Mr Ronaldo appears to be re- learning during his second spell at Old Trafford.

Patient capital
A good manager recognises that individual selections are unlikely to perform at their peak all the time – there will be periods when form will dip. Understanding the reasons for this and retaining confidence with the long-term contribution that is expected, allows the manager to benefit from a return to form whilst endearing some loyalty in the process.

The goal for player selection is to have a durable team with some longevity in building a path to success. By seeking a consistent base or a ‘spine’ to a team, the manager can better identify any areas of weakness that need strengthening (investment position sizing) or even replacing (finding better alternative investments). Although in the latter circumstance, the manager should be prepared to demonstrate patience on proceedings, constantly changing selections is unlikely to aid consistency of performance or improvement, as Claudio Ranieri – the ‘tinker-man’ demonstrated during his time managing Chelsea. His nickname deriving from his propensity to ‘tinker’ with his team selection constantly.

Learning from the Lionesses
It was very telling throughout the Euro football tournament that Serina Wiegman had the same starting line-up for most of her matches, only daring to change players as the strategy was tweaked at an appropriate time. This demonstrated patience and conviction which in similar fashion is the job of a manager or multi-asset allocator to remain calm, identify opportunity and not be afraid to implement changes if required. Taking a patient approach is a cornerstone of our investment process in building long-term portfolios based on client outcomes to risk.

Will 2022 be the year of outperformance?
The patience a manager demonstrates is not just with squad selection but in also seeing the long-term strategy play out. It is important they avoid overreacting to short term hiccups, there will be occasions when the team plays well but can still suffer a loss. In the investing world, markets are always in a state of flux, so the asset allocator would do well to look through market noise and short-term trends that distract from the longer-term objective.

Whether it is football or managing funds, changing short-term tactics, without compromising a long-term strategy, can be the key to outperformance. As was shown by Serina Wiegman, the consistency in approach made it possible to see where adaptions of player selections and tactics were required to address the competitive threats faced by the team. Within investing, the same asset classes rarely top the performance charts year after year, this is definitely an area for Gareth Southgate (manager of the England men’s team) to think about on his journey to the World Cup in Qatar this month.

Brazil or indeed Germany need not be the omnipresent fear, just ask Serina Wiegman following the women’s victory against Germany in the Euro 2022 final.

How would you rate the information in this article?

Click on a star to rate it.

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you.

Write your comments here:

Tell us how we can improve this post?

Risks

The value of stock market investments will fluctuate, and investors may not get back the original amount invested.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION:

For Investment Professionals only. Not for onward distribution. No other persons should rely on any information contained within this document.

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained within this document, we regret that we cannot accept responsibility for any omissions or errors. The information given and opinions expressed are subject to change and should not be interpreted as investment advice. Reference to any particular stock or investment does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell the stock / investment.

Persons who do not have professional experience in matters relating to investments should not rely on the content of this document.

For your protection, calls may be monitored and recorded for training and quality assurance purposes.

Issued by Premier Miton Investors. Premier Portfolio Managers Limited is registered in England no. 01235867. Premier Fund Managers Limited is registered in England no. 02274227. Both companies are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and are members of the ‘Premier Miton Investors’ marketing group and subsidiaries of Premier Miton Group plc (registered in England no. 06306664). Registered office: Eastgate Court, High Street, Guildford, Surrey GU1 3DE

008073/151122

Stay up to date

Sign up to receive the latest articles straight to your inbox

Disclaimer

This section of the website and the content it contains is for retail clients only and by persons who are resident in the United Kingdom [who are not US persons]. Professional advisers should refer to the Professional Advisers site.

The content of the pages of this website is for your general information only. It, and the products and services described within it, are subject to change without notice. We shall not be liable to you, or any third party, for any amendment, modification, suspension or discontinuance of any product or service described on our website. Neither we, nor any third parties, provide any warranty or guarantee as to the accuracy, timeliness, performance, completeness or appropriateness of the information and materials made available on this website.

You acknowledge that such information may contain inaccuracies or errors and we expressly exclude liability for any such inaccuracies or errors to the fullest extent permitted by law. Your use of any information or materials is entirely at your own risk, for which we shall not be liable.

The information contained on this website does not constitute an offer or solicitation to sell or purchase shares in the funds or portfolios or to provide you with other products or services. Any application or investment must only be made on the basis of the relevant documentation of the investment, such as, for example, terms and conditions. The information on this website does not constitute any investment, tax, legal or other advice. Persons who do not have professional experience in matters relating to investments should always consult with an independent financial adviser before making an investment decision. Any opinion expressed on individual funds, services or products represent the views of the individual at the time of preparation and should not be interpreted as a personal recommendation to buy or sell or otherwise trade all or any of the investments that may be referred to.

Website terms of use: Please ensure you have read and accept the full 'website terms of use' before continuing.

Read the full 'website terms of use' >

Disclaimer

This section of the website and the content it contains is for professional financial advisers only and should not be relied upon, or circulated to, retail clients. Retail clients should refer to the Private Investor's site.

The content of the pages of this website is for your general information and use only. It, and the products and services described within it, are subject to change without notice. We shall not be liable to you, or any third party, for any amendment, modification, suspension or discontinuance of any product or service described on our website. Neither we, nor any third parties, provide any warranty or guarantee as to the accuracy, timeliness, performance, completeness or appropriateness of the information and materials made available on this website.

You acknowledge that such information may contain inaccuracies or errors and we expressly exclude liability for any such inaccuracies or errors to the fullest extent permitted by law. Your use of any information or materials is entirely at your own risk, for which we shall not be liable.

The information contained on this website does not constitute an offer or solicitation to sell shares in the funds or portfolio or to provide you with other products or services. Any application or investment must only be made on the basis of the relevant documentation of the investment, such as, for example, terms and conditions. The information on this website does not constitute any investment, tax, legal or other advice. Persons who do not have professional experience in matters relating to investments should always consult with an independent financial adviser before making an investment decision. Any opinion expressed on individual funds, services or products, represent the views of the individual at the time of preparation and should not be interpreted as a personal recommendation to buy or sell or otherwise trade all or any of the investments that may be referred to.

Website terms of use: Please ensure you have read and accept the full 'website terms of use' before continuing.

Read the full 'website terms of use' >

The content you are trying to access is intended for investment professionals only.

Please use the button below to return to the hompage.

Disclaimer

This section of the website and the content it contains is for retail clients only and by persons who are resident in the United Kingdom [who are not US persons]. Professional advisers should refer to the Professional Advisers site.

The content of the pages of this website is for your general information only. It, and the products and services described within it, are subject to change without notice. We shall not be liable to you, or any third party, for any amendment, modification, suspension or discontinuance of any product or service described on our website. Neither we, nor any third parties, provide any warranty or guarantee as to the accuracy, timeliness, performance, completeness or appropriateness of the information and materials made available on this website.

You acknowledge that such information may contain inaccuracies or errors and we expressly exclude liability for any such inaccuracies or errors to the fullest extent permitted by law. Your use of any information or materials is entirely at your own risk, for which we shall not be liable.

The information contained on this website does not constitute an offer or solicitation to sell or purchase shares in the funds or portfolios or to provide you with other products or services. Any application or investment must only be made on the basis of the relevant documentation of the investment, such as, for example, terms and conditions. The information on this website does not constitute any investment, tax, legal or other advice. Persons who do not have professional experience in matters relating to investments should always consult with an independent financial adviser before making an investment decision. Any opinion expressed on individual funds, services or products represent the views of the individual at the time of preparation and should not be interpreted as a personal recommendation to buy or sell or otherwise trade all or any of the investments that may be referred to.

Website terms of use: Please ensure you have read and accept the full 'website terms of use' before continuing.

Read the full 'website terms of use' >

Disclaimer

This section of the website and the content it contains is for professional financial advisers only and should not be relied upon, or circulated to, retail clients. Retail clients should refer to the Private Investor's site.

The content of the pages of this website is for your general information and use only. It, and the products and services described within it, are subject to change without notice. We shall not be liable to you, or any third party, for any amendment, modification, suspension or discontinuance of any product or service described on our website. Neither we, nor any third parties, provide any warranty or guarantee as to the accuracy, timeliness, performance, completeness or appropriateness of the information and materials made available on this website.

You acknowledge that such information may contain inaccuracies or errors and we expressly exclude liability for any such inaccuracies or errors to the fullest extent permitted by law. Your use of any information or materials is entirely at your own risk, for which we shall not be liable.

The information contained on this website does not constitute an offer or solicitation to sell shares in the funds or portfolio or to provide you with other products or services. Any application or investment must only be made on the basis of the relevant documentation of the investment, such as, for example, terms and conditions. The information on this website does not constitute any investment, tax, legal or other advice. Persons who do not have professional experience in matters relating to investments should always consult with an independent financial adviser before making an investment decision. Any opinion expressed on individual funds, services or products, represent the views of the individual at the time of preparation and should not be interpreted as a personal recommendation to buy or sell or otherwise trade all or any of the investments that may be referred to.

Website terms of use: Please ensure you have read and accept the full 'website terms of use' before continuing.

Read the full 'website terms of use' >