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Turnaround stars of 2011: rising global equity managers revealed

Who turned despair to their advantage over the past year and rocketed into the top 10 rankings for global equity managers?

Fund: Practical Investment Inc

  • Ranking January 2010 – January 2011: 325th
  • Ranking January 2011 – January 2012 : 9th

First off is Sean Ashfield, manager of the Ucits-compliant investment trust, Practical Investments Inc.

Ashfield, who has managed the 72-year-old fund since January 2009, invests in a wide-range of securities but is largely centred on the UK market.

Despite his returns falling from 19.25% in the 2010 period to 13.95% in the 2011 period, Ashfield managed to leap a considerable 316 places up the rankings by the end of last year as many other global equity managers struggled.

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Fund: Majedie Asset Global Focus

  • Ranking January 2010 – January 2011: 486th
  • Ranking January 2011 – January 2012 : 7th

Co-managing the Dublin-domiciled fund with Michael Nickson, Simon Todd has focused his investment process on high, stable and durable returns. This has led him to invest mainly in large-cap and blue-chip stocks.

His fund's top sector allocation is consumer staples, which accounts for 55% of the fund, while over two-thirds of the fund is invested in the United States. He also has exposure to the United Kingdom and Switzerland, nearing 10% in both countries.

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Fund: Morgan Stanley Global Brands A GBP/Morgan Stanley Global Brands ZH EUR

  • Ranking January 2010 – January 2011: 767th
  • Ranking January 2011 – January 2012 : 5th

Co-managers Peter Wright and William Lock are both Citywire A-rated and made a monumental jump of 762 places up the rankings over the course of 2011.

Similar to Todd, the pair operate with a large-cap focus and their top 10 holdings is filled with blue chip names, such as Nestle, Unilever, Microsoft and Procter & Gamble. Geographically, Wright and Lock favour the US (45%) and the United Kingdom (29%).

The pair have operated as a tandem since June 2009, taking over the two portfolios from Hassan Elmasry who departed Morgan Stanley to set up his own fund in April 2009.

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Fund: BNP Paribas Islamic Fund – Equity Optimiser C

  • Ranking January 2010 – January 2011: 816th
  • Ranking January 2011 – January 2012 : 10th

Previously flagged up for his improved performance in Asian equities, Jaouad Olqma has been equally as impressive in the global equity sector over 2011. This fund invests primarily in 30 stocks drawn from the Dow Jones Islamic Market Titans 100 Index.

The main areas of investment are a large overweight in healthcare and a small overweight in oil and gas. The USA (23%) and the UK (16%) are the two largest geographical allocations.

Currently Olqma holds just 31 holdings in his portfolio, with the largest being Marathon Oil Corp.

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Fund: Investec GSF Global Franchise A Acc Gross USD

  • Ranking January 2010 – January 2011: 915th
  • Ranking January 2011 – January 2012 : 3rd

Topping the list of our improved global equity managers list is Sam Houlie, who has climbed 912 places to sit third overall for his performance on the Investec Global Franchise fund.

Houlie, who has been managing the $259 million fund since its launch in July 2009, invests across all cap sizes and operates without a geographical bias. His latest market commentary indicates his style is not to ‘chase the excitement’ but is largely focused on bottom-up stock selection.

Recent moves in the fund have seen it increase its exposure to Imperial Tobacco and Reckitt Benckiser.

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Related Fund Managers

Sean Ashfield
Sean Ashfield
16/120 in Mixed Assets - Balanced GBP (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 45.65%
William Lock
William Lock
707/1118 in Equity - Global Equities (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 45.34%
Hassan Elmasry
Hassan Elmasry
275/1118 in Equity - Global Equities (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 57.32%
Jaouad Olqma
Jaouad Olqma
1082/1487 in Equity - North America (Performance over 1 year) Average Total Return: 7.01%
Simon Todd
Simon Todd
Michael Nickson
Michael Nickson
Peter Wright
Peter Wright
Sam Houlie
Sam Houlie
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