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Fund managers who got their first Citywire rating for Christmas

We reveal nine fund managers who qualify for getting their first Citywire rating in their Christmas stockings this year. 

by Nisha Long on Dec 20, 2012 at 13:23

The new rated managers

Despite all the uncertainty in the markets, a good number of fund managers have produced solid returns over the past few months. For December, there is an influx of rated managers, and we have awarded 328 managers with a Citywire rating for delivering strong three-year risk-adjusted performance (up from 275 awarded last month).

More about Citywire Fund Manager Ratings

Citywire Fund Manager Ratings are a great tool for investors looking to find the best funds for their ISAs and pensions.

To gain one of our A, AA or top AAA ratings fund managers have to show they are generating better 'risk-adjusted' returns than their rivals. All this means is they are investing their investors' money more effectively over the three-year period we look at. They are squeezing more financial return for every risk they take on compared to rival fund managers. For an explanation of how the ratings work and a full list of the fund managers, look at the rated fund managers page.

You might be interested to know that our research team uses these exclusive manager ratings as one of their starting points for their fund recommendations in Citywire Selection.

Torcail Stewart

Torcail Stewart enters with a top AAA rating for his 30-month risk-adjusted performance on the Baillie Gifford Corporate Bond fund. He co-manages the fund alongside Stephen Rodger and over the last 30 months he has returned 36.19% on this fund against his Citywire benchmark, the Markit iBoxx Sterling Corporates TR which returned 26.2% over the same period.

They invest in both investment grade and sub-investment grade (or 'high yield') bonds and typically hold between 40-60 stocks. At the end of October their main holdings were Telereal (B-4) 6.1645% 2031 (3.5%) and IBRD 5.4% 2021 (3.4%).

Adam Walker

Adam Walker enters with a AA rating for his three-year risk-adjusted performance on the Ignis Corporate Bond fund which he co manages with Chris Bowie.

Over recent months the duo has increased the fund's weighting to short-dated gilts and cash. As the woes of the markets across the globe continue to dominate investor sentiment, they remain defensive and are only taking risk in the more established names in the market.

At the end of October they had 39.6% invested in non-financials and more than 25% within financials. BBB rated bonds were favoured and make up more than 46% of the portfolio and their top holdings were Ignis Sterling Liquidity 1 (4.54%) and United Kingdom (Government of) 4.5% (2.19%).

Richard Watts

Richard Watts enters our ratings with an A rating. He manages the Old Mutual UK Select Cap fund and the Skandia UK Opportunities fund.

In October within the Old Mutual UK Select Cap fund, his sector allocation detracted from performance but stock selection was the driver of better performance than his benchmark. His underweight stance over the last months in the mining sector helped the portfolio. However, his overweight position in software and the oil services sector held back performance a bit.

He has increased house building exposure in the month and increased his position in Persimmon at the expense of his position in Bellway which he sold in October. Top holdings were Ashtead group, a a British industrial equipment rental company (3.8%) and Telecity Group PLC, a European carrier-neutral datacentre and Colocation centre provider company, (3.3%).

Takis Anastassopoulos

Takis Anastassopoulos has entered with a A rating for his three-year risk-adjusted performance on the Insight Investment UK Equity Income Booster A Acc fund. He started co-managing the fund in 2009 alongside Timothy Rees who is also A rated this month.

Over the last few months, the fund has delivered an attractive level of income with a number of positions performing well. One of these holdings was Legal & General, the insurer. His large underweight position in BG Group was also beneficial to his portfolio as the company fell sharply over the month as it lowered its future earnings potential. Having an underweight position in relation to the benchmark was very beneficial to him. He increased his position in the recycled packaging manufacturer DS Smith in October.

At the end of October his top holdings comprised Royal Dutch Shell (6.8%) and BP (6.0%) and his main sector weightings were in the financials sector at 22.8% and within the consumer services sector with a 14.2% holding.

Roderick Snell

Roderick Snell is the manager of the Baillie Gifford Pacific A Acc fund and his risk-adjusted performance on the fund over the last three years has helped his gain his first Citywire A rating. The fund is positioned as a long-term Asian Growth fund and over this time he has posted returns of 23.87%, in comparison to his benchmark, the FTSE AW Asia Pacific ex Japan TR GBP, which has posted 17.65% over the same time.

He invests mainly in equities in the Far East, Australasia and the Indian sub-continent. His portfolio typically holds 50-80 stocks with a low turnover rate. At the end of October his main geographical weighting was South Korea (23.5%), China (17.1%) and Taiwan which he held at 12%. His top holdings comprised of Samsung Electronics (7.8%) and TSMC (4.0%).

Ben Lofthouse

Hendersons Ben Lofthouse enters with an A-rating for his 30-month risk-adjusted performance on the Henderson Global Equity Income A Inc fund. At the end of November, his top holdings were Pfizer (3.1%) and BASF (3.1%).

The fund’s holdings in insurers Standard Life and Prudential aided returns which were benefited by a positive market backdrop. The companies have recently announced good trading statements which should enable good cash flow generation and help continue their dividend growth.

Their position in BASF was also a strong contributor as the company announced good quarterly results and continues to demonstrate its resilience in the challenging economic environment.

However, the main performance detractors were Microsoft, which looked weak after industry data revealed poor global PC sales trends. Another detractor was NYSE which reported disappointing third quarter earnings.

Paul Stevens

WAY manager Paul Stevens enters with an A-rating for his 36-month risk-adjusted performance on the Hurlingham Managed Growth Portfolio Acc fund. Over this time he has generated returns of 20.24% on the fund.

His main holdings at the end of October were the Aberdeen Emerging Markets (7.07%) and Capital International Global High Income Opportunities X (5.91%) funds.

Geographically he is heavily invested in the United Kingdom with a weighting of 32% and also in the United States with a holding of 28.93%.

Aaron Barnfather/Barnaby Wilson

Co-managers Aaron Barnfather and Barnaby Wilson enter with an A rating for their three-year, risk-adjusted performance on the Lazard European Alpha fund. At the end of October he held 62 stocks in his portfolio and his top holdings included Novartis (6.0%) and Sanofi (5.4%) His main investments geographically were in France (21.9%) and Germany (15.8%).

At the end of October the main contributors to performance in the fund were Sky Deutschland and an overweight position in CGG Veritas. However, having overweight positions in Intesa Sanpaolo and Cristian Dior did not help their portfolio returns. Over the last three years they have generated returns of 10.52% in the fund. In comparison their benchmark, the FTSE World Europe ex UK TR GBP, returned 6.97% over the same time period.

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Look up the fund managers

  • Torcail Stewart
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  • Adam Walker
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  • Richard Watts
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  • Takis Anastassopoulos
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  • Roderick Snell
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  • Ben Lofthouse
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  • Paul Stevens
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  • Aaron Barnfather
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  • Barnaby Wilson
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