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The 10 most improved managers of the last five years revealed

Citywire Global has cut across all sectors and found the stand out performers who have rocketed up the rankings over the past five years.

10. Matthias Wildhaber, Swiss & Global AM

Funds: BVB ABS Fund CA/Julius Baer ABS-EUR C

Sector: European bonds

  • Ranking January 2008-July 2010: 217/218
  • Ranking July 2010-January 2013: 6/225

Former Citywire AAA-rated manager Matthias Wildhaber kicks off our ranking and is the only bond manager present in this countdown, having posted a 211 place rise up the European bond rankings over the past five years despite underperforming in absolute terms.

In the €115 million Julius Baer ABS-EUR C fund, which Wildhaber has run since July 2006, he has his largest allocation to collateralised loan obligations, which make up 38% of his portfolio exposure by investment type. He was joined on the fund in December 2009 by co-manager Laurence Kubli.

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9. Norbert Hagen, ICM Investments

Fund: Leonardo UI

Sector: Mixed Asset EUR Flex – Global

  • Ranking January 2008-July 2010: 213/272
  • Ranking July 2010-January 2013: 2/497

Berlin-based Hagen is in ninth place with a 211-position rise up the rankings in the mixed asset sector. It is an index-driven strategy which offers institutional investors access to equities, bonds and commodities markets.

The Citywire AAA-rated fund manager has run the €29 million strategy since it was launched in October 2007. He has featured on a number of occasions in the One Year Snapshot analysis by Citywire, which looks at fund managers with strong year-on-year performance figures.

Note: Data is calculated by comparing the performance between two separate 30 month periods. This covers January 2008 to July 2010 and July 2010 to the end of January 2013.

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8. Alexander Farman-Farmaian, Edgewood AM

Fund: Edgewood L Select US Select Growth I USD

Sector: North American equity

  • Ranking January 2008-July 2010: 237/319
  • Ranking July 2010-January 2013: 15/307

One of three fund managers to have shown stark improvement in US equities over the past five years is Edgewood Management’s Alexander Farman-Farmaian. The New York-based manager runs the highly-concentrated $950 million Edgewood L Select – US Select Growth fund.

In this portfolio, Farman-Farmaian has a mid-cap bias with 35% of the fund invested in stocks with a market cap of $21 billion or higher. This is while having a diverse sector exposure, where financials (16%), industrials (11%) and internet (10%) are marginally the largest sector allocations.

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7. Ian Heslop, OMAM

Fund: Old Mutual North American Equity A Acc

Sector: North American equity

  • Ranking January 2008-July 2010: 248/319
  • Ranking July 2010-January 2013: 11/307

This is the first of two appearances for Ian Heslop, who has shown marked improvement in both the global and US equity sectors over the past five years. In the $115 million Old Mutual North American Equity fund, Heslop has risen to sit just outside the top 10 performers in his asset class.

Heslop – who co-runs the fund with Mike Servent and Amadeo Alentorn – has most recently moved into a ‘risk on’ stance in the US equity fund. This has seen him adopt an overweight position in financials and reduce underweights to industrials and materials.

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6. D. Tysen Nutt, Delaware Investments

Fund: Delaware Investments US Large Cap Value F USD

Sector: North American equity

  • Ranking January 2008-July 2010: 254/319
  • Ranking July 2010-January 2013: 14/307

Large-cap specialist D. Tysen Nutt boasts the most improved performance among the North American equity managers in this analysis, having risen 240 places up the rankings since the end of July 2010. He focuses on companies with strong cash flow and clear signs of undervaluation.

The largest sector allocations in the Dublin-domiciled fund are to healthcare – where Nutt has a 6% overweight compared to his index – and energy. Nutt said he added to his energy exposure at the end of 2012 with a purchase of Occidental Petroleum (3.06%).

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5. Michael Fraikin/Thorsten Paarmann, Invesco

Fund: Invesco Global Dynamik Fonds

Sector: Mixed Asset EUR Flex – Global

  • Ranking January 2008-July 2010: 344/372
  • Ranking July 2010-January 2013: 6/497

The only duo to make this list are Invesco’s Michael Fraikin and Thorsten Paarmann. Fraikin is one of the longest-serving managers on this list, having run the €26 million fund since June 1998, while Paarmann was added as a co-manager in May 2007.

Fraikin and Paarmann, who share responsibility for the mixed asset Invesco Global Dynamik fund, invest mainly in North American equities (42%), while also having strong allocations to Japanese equities (19%) as well as Asia ex Japan equities (12%).

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4. Alexandra Morris, ODIN

Fund: Odin Europa

Sector: European equity

  • Ranking January 2008-July 2010: 412/530
  • Ranking July 2010-January 2013: 18/523

Posting the strongest turnaround in performance among European equity managers over the past five years is ODIN’s Alexandra Morris. The Euro Stars A-rated manager has risen 394 rankings between the two analysis periods.

Morris has run the fund since November 2004 and at the end of 2012 she repositioned the fund to take advantage of opportunities created by the growth in shale oil and gas. This saw her close positions in some traditional energy companies in order to free up cash to reinvest in new stocks.

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3. Patrick Kolb, Credit Suisse

Fund: Credit Suisse Equity (Lux) Global Security R EUR

Sector: Global equity

  • Ranking January 2008-July 2010: 431/768
  • Ranking July 2010-January 2013: 20/878

Security specialist Patrick Kolb is the first of three managers to have risen more than 400 places in the global equity sector over the past five years. The Citywire A-rated manager is entering his sixth year in charge of the €67 million fund.

Primarily focused on the US market – which makes up 62% of his fund’s geographic exposure – Kolb seeks to capitalise on key trends in personal, environmental and digital security. Speaking to Citywire Global in December last year, Kolb set out the five key themes he expects to play out in security in 2013.

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2. Ian Heslop, OMAM

Fund: Old Mutual Global Equity A Acc

Sector: Global equity

  • Ranking January 2008-July 2010: 493/768
  • Ranking July 2010-January 2013: 13/878

Ian Heslop marks his second appearance with a 480 rankings rise in global equities but narrowly misses out on the most improved crown for his performance on the Old Mutual Global Equity fund. Like his European equity fund, Heslop is supported by Amadeo Alentorn and Mike Servent on this strategy as well.

In the fund, which Heslop has run since December 2004, the emphasis is placed on the North American equity sector, which makes up 54% of his fund’s geographic exposure. In a similar vein to his US equity fund, Heslop has recently adopted a more ‘risk on’ approach and added to positions in financials.

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1. Rajiv Jain, Vontobel

Fund: Vontobel Fund Global Value Eq HI EUR

Sector: Global equity

  • Ranking January 2008-July 2010: 552/768
  • Ranking July 2010-January 2013: 8/878

Leading the pack with a turnaround of 544 places in the global equity rankings is Euro Stars A-rated manager Rajiv Jain. Jain co-manages the fund with Matthew Benkendorf as part of Vontobel’s New York-based value investment team.

In the $882.8 million fund, Jain has a bias towards the North American market, which makes up 47% of the fund’s geographic exposure. This is while, on sector basis, making large bets towards consumer staples (28.6%) and financials (21.6%).

The ascent to the top of the turnaround table marks a busy period for Jain, as Citywire Global revealed last week there had been an operational close of his $4.8 billion emerging market portfolio. This followed news Jain was looking to boost his fund management team in the New York outfit.

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Related Fund Managers

Ian Heslop
Ian Heslop
12/1123 in Equity - Global Equities (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 78.29%
Mike Servent
Mike Servent
13/1123 in Equity - Global Equities (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 78.29%
Patrick Kolb
Patrick Kolb
122/1123 in Equity - Global Equities (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 56.25%
Norbert Hagen
Norbert Hagen
165/166 in Bonds - Euro Corporates (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 3.30%
Matthias Wildhaber
Matthias Wildhaber
29/262 in Bonds - Euro (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 23.75%
Alexander Farman-Farmaian
Alexander Farman-Farmaian
122/1189 in Equity - North America (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 71.26%
Amadeo Alentorn
Amadeo Alentorn
95/1189 in Equity - North America (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 74.12%
D. Tysen Nutt
D. Tysen Nutt
487/1189 in Equity - North America (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 59.31%
Michael Fraikin
Michael Fraikin
127/539 in Equity - Europe (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 69.83%
Thorsten Paarmann
Thorsten Paarmann
128/539 in Equity - Europe (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 69.83%
Rajiv Jain
Rajiv Jain
93/181 in Equity - Asia Pacific Excluding Japan (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 28.33%
Alexandra Morris
Alexandra Morris
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