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UK deep value funds manage to attract DFMs despite outfows

Last time out we had a look at the UK equity funds which have been most sold by DFMs since we began collecting our data.

There is certainly no shame in being a UK equity fund which has been sold off in recent years, with outflows from UK equities being as regular as the rising of the sun.

But while the overall water level has been falling, a handful of fund managers have actually grown their presence among the DFMs we cover. 

The two funds which have done best are the ones which have been mining that sweet, sweet ESG gold rush.

Liontrust Sustainable Future UK Growth has added three new DFMs, while Royal London Sustainable Leaders went from one to three DFM owners. 

Away from sustainable funds, the other segment to gain some traction was value or deep value funds, with Hugh Sargent's River & Mercantile Recovery, Crux UK Special Situations and Schroder Recovery all gaining a net of one new DFM. 

But much of that change came from investors switching between value funds, rather than into them from growth funds.

For example, the number of DFMs owning Richard Buxton's Jupiter UK Alpha fund dropped from two to one, while Polar Capital's UK Value Opportunities, managed by George Godber and Georgina Hamilton, dropped from the portfolios of two of the allocators we cover, and is still owned by two.

Some growth strategies have also gained traction, particularly Unicorn UK Growth, Baillie Gifford UK Alpha and JP Morgan UK Equity Plus.

When our database was launched in 2018 the JPM fund was not owned by any DFMs and is now owned by two.

Given the size of the fund house from which it originates, the size of the fund, at less than £100mn is a surprise.

In performance terms, it is top quartile over five years, having returned more than twice the sector average. 

Invesco's tracker-lite UK Enhanced Index fund gained a net of one new DFM since we began compiling the data. 

Another growth fund with a bit of progress is Slater Growth, which is now owned by three of the allocators we cover - an increase of one.

It is run by Mark Slater, himself a veteran equity manager and the son of the storied City figure Jim Slater who cut quite the dash through markets decades ago and is the sort of character about whom many of our older readers will doubtless have an anecdote or two. 

Slater fils fund enjoyed three rip roaring years in 2019, 2020 and 2021, but 2022 and 2023 have been painful. 

That hasn't stopped the fund being top quartile over the past five years. 

As readers might have noticed, there are a relatively high number of UK equity funds which have seen their popularity among DFMs increase slightly.

Indeed the total number of UK equity funds held has gone up from 48 to 52.

This suggests there is far from a consensus about how allocators should treat UK equities.

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