Citywire Global regularly canvasses leading fund selectors about which managers and strategies are currently lighting up their buy lists or beginning to catch their eye.
One year ago, Citywire Global collated a list of the most prominently featured managers and funds, dating back to February 2010.
This update revisits the list to see if any managers or strategies have risen to the fore over the past 12 months. Has some new boutique blood caught investor interest or have the older hands held onto their position of popularity?
With over 1,000 responses between February 2010 and the end of September 2014, let’s take a closer look at which managers can claim the crown of being fund selectors’ favourite picks.
Top 20 most mentioned funds (February 2010-September 2014)
*indicates change of manager since last analysis.
One year of change
The list indicates several increases across various assets classes, with the AXA IM FIIS US Short Duration High Yield bond fund increasing its standing, as well as the Legg Mason Royce US Smaller Companies fund.
The broad spread of the top 20 funds indicates a diverse mix of mixed asset, absolute return, fixed income and equity funds. European equity funds appear the most popular on the list, accounting for four of the top 20 funds over the period to the end of September 2014.
New kids on the buyers’ block
Five funds have risen into the top 20 after failing to make the list one year ago. Unsurprisingly, given the advent of Abenomics, two of them are Japan-focused funds.
These are the GLG Japan CoreAlpha Equity fund, which, perhaps highlighting this heightened popularity, was soft-closed to new investors last month. Meanwhile, Aberdeen’s Japanese Equity fund has also risen to sit just outside the top 10 most popular funds.
Investors also appear keen to tap the European recovery, with Nicolas Walewski earning his second entrant on the list with his Alken Absolute Return – Europe fund. This is while the Allianz Euroland Equity Growth fund, managed by Matthias Born, is also among the new names.
Optimal Income out on top
Unseating former fund selector favourite Edouard Carmignac is M&G’s Richard Woolnough. The bond manager has seen a wave of investor interest, which has translated into new flows into the fund.
The M&G Optimal Income fund currently has €28.7 billion in assets, according to the latest factsheet. It was pinpointed by Lipper as being the second biggest selling strategy in the European funds industry over the first half of 2014, gaining a further €4.56 billion.
Woolnough, who has featured not just in Buyers’ Market but also within many fund selector profiles, announced earlier in the year he had been a ‘tourist in equities’, after opting to slash stock exposure over the first quarter of 2014.