Services Provided

  • Discretionary


  • 2 UK Locations


  • Investment Manager
  • Founded 1994

Pooled Accounts

  • Minimum Account £1M
  • Assets Under Management £778.48M
  • Number Of Clients 178

Segregated Accounts

  • Minimum Account £75M
  • Assets Under Management £752.26M
  • Number Of Clients 80

About Ruffer

Ruffer was founded in 1994 to provide a different approach to investment management; one focused on preserving capital and generating positive returns irrespective of market conditions.

Ruffer’s investment philosophy was born of a frustration with the focus placed on relative returns and the adoption of benchmarking in the financial services industry. Jonathan Ruffer, the firm’s founder, observed that most clients hated losing money more than they liked making it and that it was possible to achieve attractive long-term returns while taking less risk, if you avoid significant losses.

Ruffer has a single investment philosophy which is unchanged since the firm’s inception in 1994. Our capital preservation approach has become known as ‘absolute return’ and we define it with two simple investment objectives:

·         Not to lose money in any twelve-month period

·         To generate returns meaningfully ahead of the ‘risk-free’ alternative of cash

Since 1994 we have built a 28-year track record of delivering an average annual return of 8.2% net of fees, with an average annualised volatility of 7.3%, and have protected and grown our clients’ capital through the bust, credit crisis, covid-19 shock, and the rate rises of 2022.

Latest Articles

Ruffer Review 2022


Ruffer Review 2021


Our Philosophy

Ruffer is an absolute return fund manager. This means we seek to manage the absolute risk of losing money, not the relative risk of underperforming the stock market.

By contrast, a fund manager focused on relative returns is much more closely tied to the direction of markets. Consider a year when the stock market falls by 25%. A relative return manager could lose 20% of a client’s money and still claim a good relative performance and to have ‘outperformed’. We take on the responsibility for managing a portfolio’s risk, rather than pass the risk on to a stock market or benchmark. If we ever lost 20% of our clients’ money, we would have failed.

Our starting point when investing is always to consider the prevailing risks and opportunities that we see in financial markets. Our approach is therefore forward-looking and active; we operate without pre-determined benchmarks and are not influenced by market indices. One of our main aims is to ensure that we are not dependent on the direction of markets. To that end, we seek to create a balance of offsetting investments within every portfolio, with ‘growth’ and ‘protective’ assets held alongside each other. The protective assets should perform well in a downturn and defend the capital value; those in growth should deliver good returns in favourable market conditions.

We see cash as the true comparator for our performance: with cash there is minimal risk of capital loss and there are no fees to be paid.
It is important to stress however, that a Ruffer portfolio is very different from cash on deposit. By investing, we take risks, and some components of the portfolio are very risky. At times, we will not meet our objectives and we will lose money, particularly over short periods. We may also misjudge investments or over-estimate the resilience of an investment portfolio.
Because of these risks, Ruffer is not suitable for everyone; we seek to be open and transparent about this.