Who are the best fund groups? Our 2017 index is out

River and Mercantile funds have delivered an impressive 51% average outperformance of their peers over the past five years* to top FundCalibre’s Fund Management Equity Index 2017. The group has climbed rapidly over the past three years, having secured 16th and 5th spots in 2015 and 2016 respectively.

It was followed in second place by Stewart Investors, which had a sector average outperformance of 33% over the last 5 years, while third place was taken by Unicorn, with 32% sector outperformance over the same period.

View the 2017 full results and commentary

Darius McDermott, managing director of FundCalibre, commented: “At a time when cheap passive funds seem to be getting all the focus, I think it is really important to highlight that a good actively-managed fund can really add value for investors.

“There are some great companies out there, from boutiques to global fund houses, which consistently outperform. Our index analyses the five-year performance of equity fund providers and the results show that, if you do your research, you can find some very good actively-managed funds that repeatedly do well for their investors.

“Consistently good active management is not a myth. Six groups have been in our top ten in the past three years, each in turn demonstrating outperformance over rolling five-year periods. This suggests a high degree of skill among their fund management teams.”


Key findings

  • Nine out of last year’s top ten groups maintained their high standards of consistency and retain their Elite Provider status this year.
  • Even more notably, six groups have been in the top ten for three years running – suggesting a strong-stock picking skill and an ability to repeat excellence in equity fund management.
  • It’s not just the boutique firms with a small number of funds doing well – some of the bigger global asset management companies have proven that they can produce the goods: 11 out of the top 20 companies have 10 or more funds. Schroders, for example, has 43 qualifying equity funds, 88% of which have outperformed over five years.
  • Fidelity and Invesco Perpetual, which have 38 and 29 qualifying funds respectively, have also performed well among larger groups. 74% of Fidelity’s funds and 90% of Invesco Perpetual’s funds outperformed over the same period.
  • Four mid to large-sized groups also had 100% of their funds outperforming over the five years: Artemis (10 funds), JOHCM (12 funds), Premier (7 funds) and Stewart Investors (10 funds).
  • Groups with more of a ‘value’ bias in their investment process, which have struggled in the past few years, have had a particularly strong 12 months, as their style of investing has started to come back into favour. JOHCM and M&G are such companies and are among the biggest risers.
  • Those groups that specialise in asset management continue to typically perform better than those whose businesses span a range of financial sectors.

*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.

This article is provided for information only. The views of the author and any people quoted are their own and do not constitute financial advice. The content is not intended to be a personal recommendation to buy or sell any fund or trust, or to adopt a particular investment strategy. However, the knowledge that professional analysts have analysed a fund or trust in depth before assigning them a rating can be a valuable additional filter for anyone looking to make their own decisions. Past performance is not a reliable guide to future returns. Market and exchange-rate movements may cause the value of investments to go down as well as up. Yields will fluctuate and so income from investments is variable and not guaranteed. You may not get back the amount originally invested. Tax treatment depends of your individual circumstances and may be subject to change in the future. If you are unsure about the suitability of any investment you should seek professional advice. Whilst FundCalibre provides product information, guidance and fund research we cannot know which of these products or funds, if any, are suitable for your particular circumstances and must leave that judgement to you. Before you make any investment decision, make sure you’re comfortable and fully understand the risks. Further information can be found on Elite Rated funds by simply clicking on the name highlighted in the article.