Citywire Global showcases the top rated managers operating with funds registered for sale in Asia.
Our latest Citywire fund manager ratings identifies the managers with prominent outperformance among more than 1,500 investment elites we track in the Asian market.
We have awarded 418 ratings to managers who run funds registered for sale in Asian markets we currently cover. These include Bahrain, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore and Taiwan with 221 A, 106 AA and 91 AAA ratings issued in January.
Highest New Entrant: Steven Lear, JPM
Leading the way is US fixed income veteran Steven Lear of JP Morgan, who comes straight into the top of the ratings with a AAA. Lear is recognised for his three year risk-adjusted performance on the JPM US Bond A Acc USD fund.
At the end of November 2012, he was heavily invested in mortgage-backed securities (29.5%) and corporate debt (22.0%). One third of his total portfolio was invested in AAA-rated bonds, while non-investment grade bonds also accounted for 24% of his investments.
National Mortgage Association (3.3%), General Electric (3.0%) and NATBPU (3.0%) made up his top three holdings as at the end of November.
Over the past three years, Lear has returned 28.46% in HK dollar terms while its Citywire benchmark, Barclays US Aggregate Bond TR, rose 19.69% as of December 2012.
Local Market Leader: Vipin Ahuja, Allianz GI
Hot on Lear’s heels is Vipin Ahuja from Allianz Global Investors, manager of the Allianz Global EcoTrends - A – EUR fund. Ahuja is AA rated in Hong Kong based on his strong risk-adjusted performance.
Ahuja mainly invests in companies who are involved in the ‘eco-energy’, ‘pollution control’ and ‘clean water’ sectors across the world.
According to Ahuja, the performance of the industrials sector, which makes up over 55% of the fund’s sector exposure, led to recent relative outperformance. Overweight positions in Polypore International (4.56%) and Schneider Electric SA (3.64%) were also viewed as two of the biggest contributors.
Star Manager: Jonathan Asante, First State
Emerging markets equity expert Jonathan Asante of First State has achieved his first AAA rating, the top tier of the ratings in Hong Kong’s market this month.
Mainly benefiting from an overweight to consumer staples, Asante has successfully attained a high alpha this month. His top geographical focus comprised of South Africa (21.3%), India (11.0%) and Korea (9.9%) as of December 2012.
His largest holdings are composed of Tiger Brands, a South African packaged goods company (6.3%), consumer goods giant Unilever (5.8%) and brewing and beverage company SABMiller (5.7%).
In the group standings, Fidelity leads the way with 37 rated managers, BlackRock sits in second with 32 managers and Schroders rank third with 25 rated fund managers.
We are now tracking 1,925 managers running 2,515 funds, of which 1,303 have the necessary performance history required to be eligible for a rating.