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The secret Alt Ucits weapons driving this sector leading AA-rated duo
by David Campbell on Dec 09, 2013 at 14:10
Mark Lynam is probably not a name familiar to many retail fund buyers, but he has been managing money in various forms for almost 30 years, including periods at Schroders, Gartmore and Dresdner.
After being headhunted to run wealth manager SandAire in 1999, Lynam has spent most of the intervening years working behind the scenes with family offices and other private clients.
The years of experience rapidly become evident in conversation with him; that is if they weren’t already obvious from the lead he has built up in Citywire’s Alternative Ucits league tables.
Over the past three years his VT ICF Absolute Return fund has returned 12.6%, almost three times the Alternative Ucits fund of funds sector average of 4.9%. Out of the sector’s 16 managers he is rated sixth for drawdown and has the third-highest Sharpe ratio.
Rated AA by Citywire earlier this month alongside co-manager Jeremy Suffield as he became eligible for the award for the first time, what is also evident is how much his time running private money has informed his thinking about how a Ucits fund can be managed.
‘Working in family offices, it was something we described as “Arlo” – being in finance we feel the need to create acronyms – it stands for absolute return long-only; if you think of someone like Ruffer or Sebastian Lyon, protecting assets while finding opportunity.
‘A key investment tenet for a family office is that no single asset manager has a monopoly on being the best in all investment strategies at all times. Therefore, the multi-manager approach is a required common-sense approach to portfolio management.
‘Non-traditional strategies and managers are included alongside more traditional investments as a matter of course. It’s most suitable for IFAs and wealth managers. We conceived of it as one of their building blocks and as a one-stop shop for absolute returns.’
The portfolio is a highly focused blend of 14 to 16 mandates, so every selection has to fight hard to earn its place and then stay there.
AA-rated Lynam’s three top fund picks
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