Our Expertise in Gold
Experience and expertise from the top
Guernsey Gold was founded by Managing Director Toby Birch. Toby was educated at Rugby School in Warwickshire and graduated from the City University London in 1989 with a B.Sc. in Chemistry and Administrative Sciences. He went into the City to a follow a career in finance starting as an investment analyst in the chemicals sector.
He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investments and attained personal Chartered status having achieved Continuing Professional Development targets and an ‘A’ grade in the ethics paper. His specialist modules were in fund management, private client investment advice and regulation and compliance. He is one of the few investment professionals to hold the Institute’s Islamic Finance Qualification and has also fulfilled the RDR requirements having been awarded the Statement of Professional Standing certificate in 2012.
Toby is best known for his book The Final Crash: Addictive Debt and the Deformation of the World Economy, written under the pseudonym Hugo Bouleau. It proved to be one of the most prescient predictions of the credit crisis, published in April 2007, just months before the markets peaked. The book spelled out the cause, effect and consequence of the combined build-up of debt and derivatives and specifically forecast that there would be ‘a crash in 2008’. It was reviewed by Lord Desai of the London School of Economics who stated ‘Do not say later you were not warned’. Lord Rees-Mogg, former editor of The Times, applauded the work as ‘a very good book which I recommend’. It was also quoted twice in 2008 by financial journalists from Britain’s Daily Telegraph. Chapter 7 was dedicated to gold investing under the title 'Antidote' to offer investors a safe haven away from equities.
His articles appear regularly in a multitude of publications, with recent emphasis on gold as a method of enforcing financial discipline. He also highlights the benefit of Islamic financial principles that discourage leverage and speculation as a model to counter the West’s financial woes. Reuter’s news agency published two interviews with him and he has appeared on CNBC Europe and other television channels. In 2010 he wrote a chapter for a Euromoney book on how to combine liquidity of gold with the illiquidity of private equity. He has spoken at a variety of conferences covering conventional, commodity and alternative investments. In 2009 he was keynote speaker at the World Islamic Banking Conference (Bahrain), the Campden Family Office Alternative Investment Conference (Monaco), the World Islamic Funds Conference (Bahrain) and AlBaraka Bank’s 30th Symposium on Islamic Economics (Saudi Arabia). In October 2009 he undertook a three-week lecture tour of Canada in conjunction with the Canadian Islamic Congress.
He was MD of Oppenheim & Co Limited and Blackfish Capital Holdings Limited in Guernsey where he managed a hedge fund focused on precious metals, mining stocks and natural resources. He was also a director of the Blackfish Investec Resources Special Situations fund investing in smaller mining stocks. Previously he was Executive Director at Bank Julius Baer, the largest independent private bank in Switzerland, where he spent 7 years in the Guernsey office as senior investment manager.