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‘In the investment world, you’re always a baby, you never know what happens next,’ says markets veteran Jonathan Ruffer. In spite of a knack for self-deprecation, the investment guru has a distinguished investment strategy which can only be the product of confidence. ‘I’ve always had the power of synthesis. The thing about investment is it covers absolutely everything that’s going on in the world — all the speeches, all the hedge funds, all the natural disasters, every bit of human enterprise tends to find fulfilment in economic markets. History is an encounter between human beings and circumstances. One of the great waves, which has been coming and going since Roman times, is internationalism,’ Ruffer says. He believes that wave is now retreating and global markets are substantially overpriced — if he’s right, what will that look like? ‘Balkanisation is always bad for profits — but it brings societies back to life again. The resuscitation of communities at the expense of profitability is a good thing, but not good for markets.’ And Brexit? ‘I think of it as a farmer in a field of bullocks,’ he says. ‘Brexit is an outbreak of bullockry.’ Ruffer was named Philanthropist of the Year at the Spear’s Wealth Management Awards in 2016, for establishing the Auckland Castle Trust and transforming the 900-year-old Auckland Castle (and its art) into a major attraction (he founded the Trust’s sister charity, Eleven Arches, in 2014).

Jonathan Ruffer