Citywire Global rewinds two years to find out what has happened to the standout performers in Latin American equities.
Latin American equities
Latin American has undergone a turbulent period in the past two years, with a slowing of its rapid growth and major monetary policy changes in Brazil.
In previous Citywire analysis, we looked at the top performing LatAm equities fund managers on a three year basis to the end of November 2010.
Two years on, we take a look at what has changed, which managers are still in place and how their performance has fared in the intervening period.
Gabriel Csendes, UBS
Kicking off our list is the fifth best performer in the previous analysis. However, Csendes has not managed to retain this outperformance in the two years following and has posted an underperformance of around 9% compared to the index.
Like many Latin American equity managers, Mexico and especially Brazil are the main countries of investment. In Csendes’ fund these make up 94% of the fund’s geographic exposure.
His largest positions are in Brazilian industrial giant Vale (12%), as well as financial names Banco Bradesco (9%) and Itau Unibanco (7%).
The UBS (CH) Equity Fund – Latin America strategy is now one of two funds under Csendes control. This comes after Csendes handed over control of his Russian, Eastern Europe and Central Europe equity funds in June 2011.
Christopher Palmer, Henderson
The only manager on this list to have undergone something approaching a change to his fund is Chris Palmer, whose Latin American strategy was rebranded the Henderson Gartmore Latin American fund following the purchase of Gartmore by Henderson Global Investors.
In the fund, which Palmer has run since October 2004, the strategy has remained focused on the Brazilian and Mexican markets. These two countries make up nearly 90% of Palmer’s geographic exposure.
On a sector basis, Palmer has taken slight overweights in industrials, consumer discretionary and consumer staple stocks. This is while taking underweight positions in the financials and materials sectors.
Francisco Alzuru, Hansberger
Fort Lauderdale-based Francisco Alzuru has the dubious honour of posting the largest underperformance in the catch-up analysis. Alzuru ends the two year period 15% below the benchmark.
Alzuru runs the Hansberger Emerging Latin America strategy on behalf of Natixis Asset Management subsidiary Hansberger Global Investors. He defines it as a high risk approach and invests mainly in the financials sector (25%).In terms of market cap allocation, super large caps (32%) and mid cap names (32%) comprise his two main areas of investment.
Alzuru had run the $80 million fund since 2005. According to the latest factsheet, Anders Calderon is now a named manager on the fund as well.
Mark Mobius, Franklin Templeton
Emerging markets veteran Mark Mobius has run the $2.8 billion Templeton Latin America fund since September 1996 and has stayed relatively close to the benchmark over both the three year and five year performance periods.
In this analysis, however, he has underperformed the benchmark by around 2% over the 24 month period. He has moved between being 1% and 5% off the index over the course of the two years to the end of November.
Like most of the managers on this list, Mobius has focused his efforts on Brazil but has a very modest underweight to the country. Elsewhere in his geographic exposure, he has strong overweights to both Chile and Peru, while holding 14% less than the index allocation to Mexico.
Will Landers, BlackRock
The leader last time around, LatAm expert Will Landers has underperformed the benchmark in the two years to the end of November on both his Latin America dedicated strategies – the BSF Latin American Opportunities and BGF Latin American funds.
Landers has appeared as a regular market commentator over the past two years, with his strategy also coming under scrutiny. In August 2011, he discussed his move into Brazilian financials, while he pointed to his small cap exposure as a major driver for his longer term track record.
In the larger of the two funds – the $4 billion BGF Latin American fund – Landers has concentrated efforts in consumer stocks (27%), while taking underweights in both the materials and energy sectors.