BlackRock passives drive Santander returns

The £229.12m fund sits in 30th place in the Investment Management Association’s Mixed Investment 40-85 per cent shares sector as its three-year returns edge above the peer average of 26.29 per cent.

The fund, co-managed by Tom Caddick and Toby Vaughan since 2011, aims to provide capital growth and income by positioning itself in global equity and bond index tracker funds.

Although the fund’s holdings span the globe, it has generally favoured the UK and US where 42.12 per cent and 31.92 per cent of the fund is invested respectively.

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The fund’s concentrated approach means 93.01 per cent of its assets are placed in its top five holdings, with four of those in BlackRock tracker funds.

However its largest holding at 32.42 per cent is the Santander Stockmarket 100 Tracker Growth fund, which tracks a basket of UK blue-chip companies.

The balanced tracker fund’s total expense ratio is 1.5 per cent, as is its annual management charge. The minimum allowance is only £1, but access through an Isa is not permitted.

Lagging behind in the same sector is the Smith & Williamson Multi Manager Endurance Balanced fund which has three-year returns of just 16.92 per cent. This has pulled it back to 113th place in the sector, which has a total of 123 funds.

The £35.87m fund has been managed by James Burns and Nick Marshall since 2007 and targets long-term capital growth and income, mainly by maintaining a healthy position in equities at 73.04 per cent.

Its more varied investment remit is reflected in its top-five holdings, ranging from the blue-chip selections of Artemis Income, the top holding at 7.89 per cent, to the Threadneedle American Institutional fund at 5.31 per cent and the GLG Japan CoreAlpha Equity fund at 4.83 per cent.

The fund’s TER is 2.49 per cent with an initial charge of 5 per cent and a 1.5 per cent AMC. The minimum investment is £1000 with additional savings of £500 allowed. The fund cannot be accessed through an Isa.

Adviser says...

Adrian Lowcock, senior investment manager for Bristol-based Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “The Santander fund’s concentration on BlackRock’s passive investment offering will have helped drive performance.

“BlackRock is one of the leaders of passive investments and offers a wide range of low-cost tracker funds across the majority of assets classes.

“The Smith & Williamson fund has been underweight Europe and US, and the US managers it did hold underperformed. However it has performed well against its peer group in the long term.”


Santander Multi Manager Balanced International Tracker

1. Santander Stockmarket 100 Tracker Growth 32.42%

2. BlackRock North American Equity Tracker 26.33%

3. BlackRock Corporate Bond Tracker 17.26%

4. BlackRock Continental European Equity Tracker 10.07%

5. BlackRock Japan Equity Tracker 6.93%

Smith & Williamson Multi Manager Endurance Balanced

1. Artemis Income 7.89%

2. Invesco Perpetual UK Strategic Income 6.35%

3. Threadneedle American Institutional fund 5.31%

4. Cazenove UK Opportunities 5.31%

5. GLG Japan CoreAlpha Equity fund 4.83%