Young guns vs seasoned gurus

From the young guns to seasoned gurus: who are the cream of the crop?

A lot can be said for experience and it is no different for fund managers, particularly those who have witnessed several market cycles first-hand.

In a bid for a capable pair of hands however, many investors tend to overlook the rising stars of the investment world which may well go on to outshine their veteran peers.

We take a look at the potential managers of the future as well as those who have proven their worth time and time again over the course of long-spanning careers.

Rising stars

Laura Foll, co-manager, Lowland Investment Company

Laura has co-managed Elite Rated Lowland Investment Company alongside James Henderson since 2016, although she has been working on the portfolio since 2014.

She joined Henderson as part of its graduate scheme in 2009 and has worked across its fixed income, performance, marketing and equity teams.

Investors in the trust should remain patient, however, as the managers of Lowland are prepared to invest early in out-of-favour companies and bide their time before ideas come to fruition.

Alex Wright, manager, Fidelity Special Values

While certainly one of the younger bods in the industry, Alex nevertheless has 10 years’ of investment experience, having been promoted to portfolio manager at Fidelity in 2008.

Since he took to the helm of Elite Rated Fidelity Special Values in September 2012, it has more than doubled the return of the FTSE All Share index and has comfortably outperformed its average peer to boot.*

Alex adopts a deep value approach to stock selection and has managed to grow the trust’s dividend pay-outs every year over his tenure.

Jack Barrat, co-manager, Man GLG Undervalued Assets and deputy manager of Man GLG UK Income

Having joined Matterly in 2013 after four years in the sales team at UBS, Jack now co-manages Elite Rated Man GLG Undervalued Assets, which he has been at the helm of since October 2014.

While his track record of managing money spans less than five years, Jack has worked closely with current co-manager and veteran Henry Dixon for a while and is well-versed in his value approach to stock selection.

Man GLG Undervalued Assets has significantly outperformed its average peer and benchmark over Jack’s tenure**.

Veteran managers

Job Curtis, manager, City of London Investment Trust

At the opposite end of the spectrum, Job has been at the helm of Elite Rated City of London Investment Trust since 1991, although this has been a relatively short period of time in relation to its 117-year track record!

The manager adopts a conservative approach to stock selection and has a very thorough research process, which means the trust has achieved steady gains over a long period of time.

He also has a distinct focus on income growth. In 2016, the trust celebrated 50 years of increasing its dividend pay-out to investors.

Giles Hargreave, co-manager, Marlborough Special Situations and Marlborough UK Micro-Cap Growth

Another industry veteran, Giles founded small-cap and VCT specialist firm Hargreave Hale back in 1986, having started his investment career as an analyst 17 years previously.

He has managed Elite Rated Marlborough Special Situations for more than 20 years. The vehicle boasts the best 20-year track record of all IA UK Smaller Companies funds, having comfortably doubled the returns of the second best-performing vehicle over this time frame.***

The Marlborough UK Micro-Cap Growth fund – which he also co-manages, is another top-performer in the sector.

Nigel Thomas, AXA Framlington UK Select Opportunities

Nigel has been in the industry for more than 30 years. He joined the AXA Investment Managers team in 2002 and has run Elite Rated AXA Framlington UK Select Opportunities ever since.

Over this time frame, his flexible approach to investing and his pragmatic stock-picking have placed the fund in the top-20 list of performers within the IA UK All Companies sector****.

We deem Nigel to be one of the safest pairs of hands in the industry.


*Source: FE Analytics. Total returns in sterling terms from September 2012 to 10 January 2018.

**Source: FE Analytics. Total returns in sterling terms from October 2014 to 10 January 2018.

***Source: FE Analytics. Total returns in sterling terms from 10 January 1998 to 10 January 2018.

****Source: FE Analytics. Total returns in sterling terms from 9 September 2002 to 10 January 2018.

Past performance is not a reliable guide to future returns. You may not get back the amount originally invested, and tax rules can change over time. The views of the author and any people interviewed are their own and do not constitute financial advice.