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Turnaround stars: top five climbers in US bonds

Ahead of the latest Fed announcement on US monetary policy, Citywire Global brings you the most improved managers over the past three years.

Matthew Marra: BGF US Dollar Core Bond Fund X2 USD

  • Ranking 30/09/2009 to 31/03/2011: 14/84
  • Ranking 30/04/2011 to 31/10/2012: 5/91

BlackRock’s Matthew Marra narrowly sneaks into the rankings for his performance on the BGF US Dollar Core Bond fund. He has risen nine places between the two ratings periods.

This week, Citywire Global revealed the Euro Stars AAA-rated manager had stepped back from active management on the $472 million Luxembourg-domiciled fund.

Management of the fund has been taken on by existing co-manager Rick Rieder and junior manager Bob Miller. Marra had served as lead manager on the fund since October 2006.

Marra had previously been noted for his strong performance in the four years of President Obama’s first term and also in the period following QE2.

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Rick Patel: Fidelity Funds - US Dollar Bond A-USD

  • Ranking 30/09/2009 to 31/03/2011: 19/84
  • Ranking 30/04/2011 to 31/10/2012: 2/91

Another Euro Stars AAA-rated manager showing an improved performance is Fidelity’s Rick Patel, lead manager on the $920 Fidelity Funds – US Dollar Bond fund.

In the fund, which Patel has run since March 2009, US government debt has proven to be the London-based manager’s main hunting ground. Differently-dated US Treasury Notes make up the top eight positions in the fund.

Speaking to Citywire Global in August, Patel said he was looking to reduce the ultra-defensive stance he had adopted in 2011/12 and was looking to take advantage of attractive valuations in the corporate bond market.

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Sylvain de Ruijter: ING (L) Renta Fund Dollar I Cap USD

  • Ranking 30/09/2009 to 31/03/2011: 34/84
  • Ranking 30/04/2011 to 31/10/2012: 9/91

Leaping an impressive 25 places in the rankings is ING Investment Management’s Sylvain de Rujiter, who runs the $121 million ING (L) Renta Fund Dollar portfolio.

In the fund, de Ruijiter takes a mid-range stance with regards to maturity, with 11% of his holdings set to mature in 2021 or beyond. In terms of credit rating, AA (40%) and AAA-rated (34%) bonds are his main area of investment.

Like Patel, US government debt dominates his portfolio and accounts for all 10 of his top bond positions. The fund does have the opportunity to invest in high quality corporate debt as well.

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Steven Lear: JPM US Bond C Acc USD

  • Ranking 30/09/2009 to 31/03/2011: 26/84
  • Ranking 30/04/2011 to 31/10/2012: 1/91

Also rising 25 places in the rankings but now occupying overall top spot on a total return basis is JP Morgan’s Steven Lear. The veteran fund manager – and former Citywire rising star – is the best performing US bond manager in the 18 months to end of October 2012.

Lear – who also featured in the best bond managers since QE2 – has previously spoken to Citywire about opportunities in the high yield sector but $34 million fund is largely investment in mortgage-backed debt (MBS).

MBS accounts for his largest allocation by bond type, making up 30% of the fund, and his largest single bond holding is a 30-year bond from the National Mortgage Association.

According to his most recent factsheet, Lear has begun to add risk to the portfolio and sold some higher quality names which had experienced recent tightening.

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Simone Pecoretti: Fideuram Fund Bond USD

  • Ranking 30/09/2009 to 31/03/2011: 77/84
  • Ranking 30/04/2011 to 31/10/2012: 7/91

Leading the way in improvement is Simone Pecoretti, who has risen an astounding 70 places in the rankings between the two analysis periods.

Pecoretti, who was joined on the fund by Marco Gulisano in January 2010, has run the Luxembourg-domiciled fund since January 2007 when he took over from Bruno Alferi.

The Dublin-based manager is head of the government fixed income desk for the Italian asset management company and also runs its short-term bond fund, the Fideuram Fund Euro Defensive Bond fund.

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Related Fund Managers

Rick Rieder
Rick Rieder
6/208 in Bonds - US Dollar Medium Term (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 12.23%
Matthew Marra
Matthew Marra
90/241 in Bonds - US Dollar (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 9.28%
Sylvain de Ruijter
Sylvain de Ruijter
167/241 in Bonds - US Dollar (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 3.53%
Steven Lear
Steven Lear
49/241 in Bonds - US Dollar (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 12.71%
Marco Gulisano
Marco Gulisano
186/241 in Bonds - US Dollar (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 2.32%
Simone Pecoretti
Simone Pecoretti
4/6 in Bonds - Japanese Yen (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 3.08%
Rick Patel
Rick Patel
148/377 in Bonds - Global (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 2.69%
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