Fund of funds manager Sirko Möllmann of Weberbank moves up to gain AA status for the first time after being A-rated in Germany for five months. He is the advisor of the €97 million global bond fund Best-INVEST Bond Satellite.
Möllmann’s investment approach follows the so called ‘best-of concept’ and picks the funds that he believes will be the most profitable ones in the long-term. He also considers the fund’s cost structure and its size, as well as historical development of performance and risk indices.
He invests in bond funds of all kinds, including non-government bonds (investment grade AAA to BBB-), corporate bonds (investment grade), high-yield bonds (non-investment grade BB+ to C), emerging markets bonds and convertible bonds.
Möllmann has had overweight exposure towards emerging markets since last summer and holds around 17% there in his current portfolio, particularly local currency debt funds.
He has also increased the weighting towards high-yield bonds, which is currently at around 18%. Möllmann thinks that the high volatility of the stock markets is set to continue and has underweighted his exposure towards convertible bonds. They constitute 7% of his current portfolio.
Corporate bond funds have a 12% weighting at the moment, while he holds around 9% in cash.
The top three positions in his current portfolio are the European emerging markets bond fund Multizins-INVEST, Julius Baer BF Local Emerging-USD B and the ESPA Cash Emerging-Markets . His fourth largest position is with ishares – invested in both high-yield and corporates, followed by the ESPA Bond DANUBIA.
Over the three years to April 31st the global bond fund of fund has posted a return of 20.6% compared to a fall of 2.4% by the Citigroup WGBI.
Larsen, who has over 15 years’ experience as a portfolio manager, invests in stock listed European companies with a market capitalisation of minimum €50 million and a free float of maximum €0.5 billion. He uses an active bottom-up investment approach.
In March his best performing share was Dutch Royal Vopak – the world’s largest chemical and oil storage company. Larsen remains bullish on the holding owing to its strong company results, and it is the second largest position in the portfolio.
Larsen expects no immediate change to the recent trend of small and mid cap stocks outperforming large caps seen in the first quarter of 2008. He believes stock markets remain volatile and individual companies’ financial reports will have an impact on price development.
Mathieu Négre makes his debut this month with an A rating on the basis of the three year risk-adjusted performance of the Fortis L Equity Europe Emerging Cap fund. Urs Hiller of Credit Suisse, manager of the Credit Suisse Portfolio (Lux) Growth (Euro) B, also features among the three A-rated managers making their first appearance in Germany. He is joined by Roberto Picano, who runs the Vontobel Swiss Mid & Small Cap Equity A2 fund.