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Following the Compass: a mutual fund attraction?

Compass Asset Management’s chief investment officer expects his funds under management to grow from $20 million to $100 million in the next 12 months. Is Kazakhstan the next great emerging Europe play?

Guy Norton talks to chief investment officer Mikhail Derkavski about the company’s investment approach.

Life can be cruel in Almaty. You live in a million-dollar penthouse in the north of the city and have just spent hundreds of thousands of dollars and many months waiting to take delivery of your brand new Lamborghini Diablo convertible. It’s your pride and joy and naturally enough you want to show it off to your family and friends who live in the south of the city.

All’s going well as you head downtown with the top down – heads are turning and there are lots of envious looks being aimed in your direction. Then disaster strikes as you approach a set of tramlines that bisect the city. Crash, bang, wallop! The ground clearance on your supercar isn’t enough to get it over the tracks and you find yourself stuck fast at a busy intersection, with the hoi polloi laughing their heads off as they trundle past in battered Ladas or decrepit Moskvichs. The shame of it all.

What’s the solution, though? You sell the Lamborghini, downsize to something more practical like a Porsche Cayenne 4x4, and stick the rest of the proceeds into Compass Asset Management, which will make you enough money to buy a helicopter instead.

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