Edouard Carmignac: 'we are as innovative as Apple'

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PARIS: French fund manager Edouard Carmignac believes the success of his firm's fund range can be attributed to the same values that have made Apple a global powerhouse.

Speaking at the firm's latest investor conference in Paris, the founder of Europe's largest independent asset manager said:

'The driving ideas of our group are innovation, creativity, simplicity. And what group does that remind you of... well Apple.'

He referred to the launch in March last year of his firm's Emerging Patrimoine fund as an example of the innovative products they are offering and their early move to invest in emerging markets.

During his speech, he also addressed the sizeable outflows his firm experienced last year. He described this as a case of 'wet paint' where new investors had 'not yet properly moored' themselves and were still on the fringes.

'Last year was a complicated one for the whole industry,' he said. 'Our end of year figures show we ended at a loss but this was not really a big concern for us.'

His funds had still posted some strong performances in a difficult market, he said, and he still believes that Europe offers some great opportunities and good low valued companies despite the problems facing the region.

Regarding the French rating downgrade, he was pragmatic but said its consequences for Europe should not be dumbed down.

'In terms of importance it is clear that this was a political setback. Not only for France but also for all the other countries included in the downgrade'

He argued that the mass downgrade 'kills the principle of a rescue fund'  as the EFSF can no longer claim to have stable system to help finance the eurozone.

Reiterating a point he made in a recent open letter to Mario Draghi he added that the ECB will have to take on a 'more active role' in order to make headway in solving the eurozone's many problems.

In the Mixed Asset sector covered by Citywire's analysis Carmignac has returned 24.8% over the past three years compared to 11% from the average manager over the same period.