Big positions in Japan and global pharmaceuticals helped Marcus Brookes’ Cazenove Multi-Manager Global fund post the best performance of any multi-manager fund in the first half of 2013.
Meanwhile, five of the top 10 multi-manager funds in the first half of the year were fettered funds, investing only in their parent company’s products.
The £222.9m Cazenove fund gained 17.8 per cent in the first six months of the year, ranking in the top quartile of the IMA Global sector and outperforming its FTSE World ex UK index benchmark by 2.3 percentage points, according to FE Analytics.
Mr Brookes, who runs the fund alongside Robin McDonald and Joe Le Jehan, had invested 22.5 per cent in the US at the end of May, including a 16.4 per cent position in the Findlay Park American fund.
Using the dollar share class has enabled the multi-managers to benefit from the strengthening of the US currency.
Meanwhile, Stephen Harker’s £1.1bn GLG Japan Core Alpha fund has gained 29.8 per cent on the back of the massive stimulus package announced by the Japanese government.
The team has also enjoyed good performance from top holdings, including Crispin Odey’s £373.3m CF Odey Opus fund and the L&G Health & Pharmaceuticals Index fund.
Other top-performing multi-manager funds so far in 2013 include the F&C MM Navigator Boutiques fund, run by Gary Potter and Rob Burdett, which has delivered 14.8 per cent compared with its IMA Global sector benchmark, which posted a 13.4 per cent return.
But the strongest outperformer was Invesco Perpetual’s £374.1m Managed Growth fund, run by chief investment officer Nick Mustoe. It ranked in the top-10 best-performing funds in the IMA Flexible Investment sector in the first six months of the year, gaining 14.7 per cent compared with the sector average of 7.5 per cent.
The fund’s performance has been driven principally by its 16.3 per cent weighting in the US Equity fund, run by Simon Laing and Simon Clinch. The two men have revamped the fund since taking charge last year, and so far in 2013 it has gained 23.2 per cent on the back of the US market rally.
The Managed Growth fund also has significant weightings in Neil Woodford’s Income and Jeff Taylor’s European Equity funds, both of which have posted double-digit gains this year.
The Old Mutual Managed Growth fund, run by Stewart Cowley, also strongly outperformed its benchmark, gaining 13.3 per cent compared with the FTSE Balanced Portfolio index, which gained 7.2 per cent. This performance ranked the fund as the second best performer in the IMA Mixed Investment 40-85% Shares sector in the first half of 2013.
JPMorgan Asset Management’s £55.6m Portfolio fund is also in the IMA Flexible sector’s top 10 funds so far in 2013, while Fidelity’s £909m Wealthbuilder fund has gained 13.9 per cent this year and the £521m MoneyBuilder Global fund has gained 13.6 per cent.