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Where are they now? Tracking down the best managers in gold

Our Citywire analysis catches up with the top returning gold equity managers from the period 2005-2010 to see whether their funds have maintained their outperformance.

Top performing gold funds 2005-2010

Think back to two years – before the last rally in gold price and after the first round of monetary stimulus from China. Citywire then looked at the performance of the best gold managers over a five year period, 2005-2010.

Gold’s status as a dollar hedge, inflation hedge and safe haven asset, has strengthened further in the past few years on global monetary easing policies.

Half-way through the second cycle of the five-year performance, we look at how the performance of those fund managers has fared since.

Note: The performance figures for each fund were elaborated, unless specified, using the benchmark supplied by the investment firm and cover a 26-month period from the end of July 2010 to end of September 2012.

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5. Thiébaut de Buyer

- Fund: Allianz Multi Actions Valeurs Or fund
- 2005 to 2010 returns: 124.28%
- Returns over 26 months from end of July 2010: -0.2%

The Alliance Multi Actions Valeurs fund was transferred to Promonial Asset Management in early 2012 and is currently managed by Alexis Bienvenu.

The Allianz Multi Actions Valeurs Or fund, since renamed 'Primonial Or' and which is a fund of funds, invests primarily in gold equities but can also diversify more widely into investments relating to the exploration of other natural resources.

Funds Buyer currently manages alongside include the Primonial Multi Emergents C, Allianz Actions Internationales, Allianz Multi Actions Monde D, and Allianz Multi Rendement Reel funds.

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4. Daniel Sacks

- Fund: Investec GSF Global Gold A Acc Net
- 2005 to 2010 returns: 141.84%
- Returns over 26 months from end of July 2010: 16.9%

Eurostars A-rated Daniel Sacks has remained as lead manager on the Investec GSF Global Gold fund, which has continued to outperform its benchmark HSBC Global Gold CR index which rose 9.9% in the last twenty-six months. Performance was strongest towards the end of 2010.

Together with co-manager Bradley George, Sacks correctly predicted in 2010 that the gold price would reach a target of around $1300 per ounce.

The fund, which is able to have some exposure to producers as well as other types of metal bullion alongside gold, had an underweight exposure to gold producers at the end of July 2012.

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3. Bob Farquharson

- Fund: Smith & Williamson Global Gold & Resources fund
- 2005 to 2010 returns: 152.76%
- Returns over 26 months from end of July 2010: 13.8%

The UK-domiciled Smith & Williamson Global Gold & Resources fund has continued with strong performance over the last twenty-six months, albeit without Bob Farquharson at its helm.

Farquharson left the fund in 2010 following the firm’s announcement of Bob Lyon as co-manager in 2008. The fund at the end of June this year had 66% in gold mining shares with 22% in other precious metals and minerals.

With just under €80 millioan in assets, the fund is now co-managed by Citywire A-rated Bob Lyon and Ani Markova.

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2. Joe Foster

- Fund: Falcon Gold Equity fund
- 2005 to 2010 returns: 193.24%
- Returns over 26 months from end of July 2010: 13.3%

Joe Foster, who has since 2010 managed to boost his Eurostars A-rating to AA, has been replaced on the fund that continued to outperform the FTSE Gold Mines TR index in the period since.

As Citywire exclusively learned earlier this year, Joe Foster was to be replaced by Citywire AAA-rated John Hathaway.

Foster joined US-based hard asset specialists Van Eck Global in 1996 where he also managed the Falcon fund. He currently also oversees Lombard Odier's World Gold Expertise (USD) PA A.

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1. Dominique Casaï

- Fund: Share Gold Cap fund
- 2005 to 2010 returns: 236.69%
- Returns over 26 months from end of July 2010: 0.5%

Founder of the Geneva-based firm, URAM SA, and now veteran in the gold industry, Dominique Casaï has managed the Share Gold Cap fund since 2003. Since Citywire tracked Casaï’s fund in 2010, performance has dropped. Over the last 28 months, the fund gained 0.5% whilst its benchmark, the FTSE Gold Mines TR index, rose 7.3%.

From being the highest in the sector over a five year period in 2010, the fund’s performance began to wane in the last quarter of 2011. It dropped 24.9% whilst its benchmark fell 16.5% during the 13-month period from the end of August 2011 to date.

From mid-2008, Casaï correctly called the upwards trend in gold bullion price. Hanging on to a Eurostars A-rating, Casaï will now have to pick up performance of the fund in order to retain his rating over the coming months.

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