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Investment Adviser 100 Club - September 2013


Consisting of 17 fund categories and a total of 85 funds, as well as three categories representing a total of 15 asset managers, the 100 Club is a definitive list of the best the UK asset management industry has to offer and is compiled using a unique and rigorous methodology that assesses both short-term and long-term investment performance and management stability.

Out of the inaugural 100 from 2012 only 19 have returned for a second year, including funds such as Lazard Emerging Markets, Cazenove UK Opportunities and M&G Optimal Income, and investment trusts such as Henderson EuroTrust, F&C Global Smaller Companies and Biotech Growth trust.

This means that seven of the 20 categories that form the 100 Club – UK Smaller Companies, North American Equity, Japanese Equity, Mixed Asset, Sterling Corporate Bond, Specialist Income, and Property – have seen a complete overhaul.

Interestingly, in the UK Smaller Companies category, there has been an influx of investment trusts.

Jemma Jackson, a spokesperson at the Association of Investment Companies (AIC), says: “It is no surprise to see the UK Smaller Companies trusts dominating since it is one of the top-performing sectors in the past year and discounts have narrowed considerably from the high teens to roughly 13 per cent.”

Investment trust newcomers include Aberforth Small Companies, Henderson Smaller Companies, JPMorgan Smaller Companies and Standard Life UK Smaller Companies.

The only open-ended product to make it into this category is the Cazenove UK Smaller Companies fund, co-managed by Paul Marriage and John Warren – which now forms part of investment giant Schroders following its buyout of Cazenove Capital earlier this year.

Similarly, the North American Equity category has seen the entry of two investment trusts this year – F&C US Smaller Companies and North American Income, which is managed by Aberdeen.

The three new open-ended funds in this category are JPM Select, UBS US Equity and the CIS US Growth Trust fund. The latter, a product from Co-operative Investments, has recently come under the control of Royal London following a £249m deal last month to buy the Co-operative’s life, pensions and asset management business.

Meanwhile, the Mixed Asset group has seen popular funds such as the £700.8m Aberdeen Multi Asset fund and £2.6bn Troy Trojan fund fall out of the category.

The performance of the latter has suffered in the short term, dropping into the fourth quartile relative to its IMA Flexible Investment sector in one year and has also been closed to new investors, which automatically excluded it from the Investment Adviser 100 Club.

Ben Yearsley, head of research at Charles Stanley Direct, says: “High-yielding stocks often perform differently to low-yielding growth stocks, and certain sectors outperform others at different times – for instance financials have fared well this year, while mining stocks have languished.”

The Japanese Equity group also saw its five member funds completely change from 2012 to 2013, with Baillie Gifford’s closed-ended Japan Trust and open-ended Japanese Smaller Companies fund joining, while the £332m Japanese fund dropped out of the elite 100.

Other entrants here include the Invesco Perpetual Japan fund, managed by Paul Chesson; Hideo Shiozumi’s Legg Mason Japan Equity fund; and Neptune Japan Opportunities, run by Chris Taylor.

The full list of 100 Club members can be found here.

In this special report