Star Tracker: catching up with tech’s consistency kings

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The fast pace of change in the tech sector means consistency is an admirable trait among sector specialists but how have the top managers previously picked out by Citywire Global fared more recently?

We charted the most consistent fund managers operating in the Lipper Global IT sector in November 2009, profiling the four managers who had outperformed the average manager in each of the five years from November 2004.

Most consistent tech managers (November 2004-November 2009)

Fund manager Fund Five Year TR (Nov 04-Nov 09)
Mattia Nocera Vitruvius Growth Opportunities 39.67%
Paul Wick Seligman Global Horizon US Communications and Info 24.24%
Richard Parower Seligman Global Horizon Global Technology 20.46%
Stuart O’Gorman Henderson New Star Global Technology/Henderson New Star HF Global Technology 17.19%
Average Manager Lipper Global Equity Sector Information Technology -3.52%

But how have the fund managers fared in the 22 months since this analysis took place?

Have they continued their impressive outperformance or have innovations between November 2009 and September 2012 caught them out?

Fund manager: Mattia Nocera

Fund: Vitrius Growth Opportunities

Total returns in period November 2009-September 2012: 23.8%

In this catch-up analysis, Nocera has lagged his fund’s Citywire benchmark, the FTSE World/ Technology TR, which rose 34.9% over the 34 months to the end of September 2012, while his Vitrius Growth Opportunities fund has returned 23.8% in US dollar terms.

In the most recent factsheet for the $83.2 million Luxembourg-domiciled fund, Nocera said he has reduced overall market exposure by 2%, while also reining in his holdings in semiconductors and computer hardware.

He has added to telecom and commercial services names and currently Apple (9.6%), Google (9.5%) and Microsoft (7.4%) comprise the three largest positions in his portfolio, which reflects his large-cap investment approach.

Fund managers: Paul Wick/Richard Parower

Funds: Seligman Global Horizon Global Technology/Seligman Global Horizon US Communication and Info

Total returns in period November 2009-September 2012: n/a

The Seligman Investment’s duo fell off our radar in the intervening period, with both of their Ucits-compliant funds being handed to Threadneedle in April 2010. This saw the Seligman Global Horizon US Communication and Info fund and the Seligman Global Horizon Global Technology fund being rolled into one entity.

This fund, the Threadneedle (Lux) Global Technology fund, is now under the sole stewardship of Richard Parower and has returned 11.6% since March 2010. Over the same period, the FTSE World/Technology TR rose 23.4%.

Parower runs a 61 stock portfolio and the main investments in the $21 million fund are in tech and software giant Apple (7.1%), software and programming firm Synopsys (6.9%) and security software specialist Symantec Corp (5.9%).

Fund manager: Stuart O’Gorman

Funds: Henderson HF Global Technology/Henderson Global Technology

Total returns in period November 2009-September 2012: 37.1%/36.7%

A familiar face to Citywire readers, the A-rated manager O’Gorman has posted the strongest return in absolute terms on his two funds – the renamed Henderson HF Global Technology Fund and the Henderson Global Technology Fund – with both outperforming their Citywire benchmark.

The FTSE World/ Technology TR, rose 34.9% over the 34 months to the end of September 2012 while the Henderson Global Technology fund returned 36.7% in US dollar terms,

The Henderson HF Global Technology fund has slightly surpassed this, returning 37.1% over the same 34 month period.

In the $1.91 billion Henderson HF Global Technology fund, O’Gorman and co-manager Ian Warmerdam have focused on Apple (9.6%), Google (6.2%) and Microsoft (5.6%), while taking overweight positions in internet software and services, internet retail and media.