May saw some (traditional) volatility in equities. The US indices reached yet more record highs, the European markets were strong, with the FTSE playing catch-up.
Domestically, the FTSE 100 is up 8.7% to the end of May, whilst leading the charge is the FTSE Small-Cap, up 2% on the month and 16.9% on the year.
We took advantage of the early to mid-May volatility and topped up our recently initiated positions in London Stock Exchange Group, as they dipped below 7000p, and the more established portfolio holding, Auto Trader.
Beazley, like many Lloyds of London agencies, has had a tough time. In mid-May, they published their first quarter trading update, reporting premiums and prices +16% each. Despite catastrophic losses of $70 million, their capital position is still within their target range and the management confirmed this would not materially affect the business. Beazley has been able to continue funding its high growth, especially in their Cyber & Executive Risk division. Across the business, most divisions (aside from Contingency) are growing at a double-digit rate. With event cancellation and a continued and prolonged fallout from the pandemic, the Contingency division will inevitably feel the most slowdown. We added to our holding post-results as we expect the favourable market conditions to continue as Beazley is well placed to take advantage of them with their well-capitalised position.
Elsewhere, we trimmed our position in Clinigen and one of international holdings, Investor AB, had a welcome stock split.