Chairman, CEO and CIO, US Global Investors
"In the mutual fund industry you are butt naked every day," says Frank Holmes. That might explain why Holmes, a Canadian, has flown south to enjoy the sub-tropical climate of San Antonio, Texas. But the chairman of US Global Investors is, of course, talking metaphorically. He and his team are exposed not to the elements but to fierce competition, not least from larger fund managers with worldwide brands. San Antonio-based US Global Investors manages 13 no-load mutual funds. It has $1.8 billion under management. "Some of our competition, like hedge funds, have far fewer regulatory issues to deal with, so we have to be innovative to compete," says Holmes, who bought a controlling interest in US Global in 1989. "We have to be much more intellectually athletic."
US Global was set up in 1968 to manage a growth fund that became the Gold Shares Fund, the US's first no-load precious metals fund. In 1994, it launched the first no-load fund focused on Chinese companies. At the end of February, it was due to launch its new Global Emerging Markets Fund, in partnership with London-based investment managers Charlemagne Capital.