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Top five equity fund management groups in focus

20 February 2017

Fund managers are far from equal and choosing the right fund group can make a huge difference to your returns.As the index demonstrates, some groups can consistently outperform for extended periods, suggesting a high level of skill among their fund management teams. It pays to choose carefully.

Here, we look in a bit more detail at the top five groups and some of the newcomers in the index this year.

FundCalibre's Fund Management Equity Index 2017:

  1. The top 10, results in brief
  2. What does the index tell us?
  3. More about the top five groups
  4. Risk-adjusted results
  5. Download the full list
  6. View the methodology

Top five equity fund managers

Percentage figures show the average fund's 5 year outperformance for each fund group.

River and Mercantile – 51% average outperformance

River and Mercantile leaf-frogged into first place this year having been fifth in the 2016 Index. It is a small boutique asset manager that mainly focuses on UK equities. Their two 'Recovery' funds had particularly strong years, as their value style came back into favour.

Stewart Investors – 33% outperformance

Asia and Emerging markets specialists Stewart Investors have had another good year, holding second position and improving their average outperformance by 5%. All ten of their qualifying funds did well versus their peers over this period.

Unicorn – 32% outperformance

Although pushed down into third place this year, small-cap specialist Unicorn topped our index for two years in a row. The past 12 months have still been good for the company and it has maintained an impressively high level of performance across their funds.

Baillie Gifford – 25% average outperformance

Last year was another strong year for this Scottish fund manager and it has moved up from 10th place to 4th on our list. Recent performance was particularly impressive given Baillie Gifford is usually known as a growth house and 2016 was a year in which value outperformed. Outperformance was led by the highly regarded Elite Rated Baillie Gifford Japanese fund, which was the number one fund in the IA Japan sector in 2016.

Old Mutual – 25% average outperformance

Old Mutual Global Investors is the largest group in the top five, with 24 qualifying funds. 67% of these funds outperformed their peers and the average performance improved slightly on last year’s results. Old Mutual’s UK Smaller Companies funds had a particularly strong year.

Top five newcomers

  1. Charlemagne – in at 15
  2. Hermes – in at 18
  3. Matthews Asia – in at 25
  4. Davy – in at 29
  5. Polar Capital – in at 32

Among the top five newcomers this year, there were two overwhelming themes: the majority are specialist investment houses with a focus on country or sector specific funds, which were added to the analysis in 2017, and all had a number of funds celebrating a five-year track record, which means more houses met the qualification criteria.

Matthew Asia, for example, has a range of Asia country specific equity funds and Polar Capital has a range of very good sector specific funds.

*A bit about the index

FundCalibre's Fund Management Equity Index looks at the majority of actively managed equity funds recognised by the Investment Association and compares them with their sector averages over a five year timeframe.

Each fund group's funds are then collected together to calculate the group's average fund performance. Fund groups must have a minimum of four qualifying funds to be included in the index.

Read more on the methodology

Go to the next page in this report (2/4)

Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns. Please note the Fund Management Equity Index does not constitute investment advice. If you are in any doubt as to the suitability of any investment you should seek professional advice. An appearance of any fund on this index is not an indication it should be bought, sold or switched.

This is a purely statistical chart. All cumulative statistics % change bid to bid, net income reinvested, five years to 31/12/2016. Source FE Analytics. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this information, FundCalibre takes no responsibility for any errors, omissions or inaccuracies therein.