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Man from Mars brings forex down to earth

Neil Record

Few people know currency overlay - an industry always on the verge of maturing - better than Neil Record, chairman and CEO of Record Currency Management. According to Mercer Investment Consulting, the company he started was awarded the world's first currency overlay mandate in 1985, when the Water Authority Superannuation Fund asked it to implement a dollar-based hedge.

Record, who has been doing his present job for 19 years, began his career at the Bank of England before moving to food manufacturer Mars, where he was a commodity price forecaster also responsible for currencies. Until that time, the company's managing director had looked after currencies by advising the treasury on an ad hoc basis. When one day he made a £6 million loss, he felt the time had come to replace himself with a full-time expert.

Record built and implemented a model-based currency management process for Mars, saw its potential as a wider-ranging currency management technique, and at the age of 29 decided to put his skills to use as his own boss. It's been a long, slow slog, but he has never looked back.