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The top global convertibles managers of the past five years revealed

As investors’ appetite for convertibles returns, Citywire Global takes a closer look at the standout performers in this sector.

Alain Eckmann & Ulrich Sperl, UBS

Fund: UBS (Lux) Bond Sicav – Convert Global (EUR) Qa

Five year total return (June 2008-June 2013): 32.77%

The duo of Alain Eckmann and Ulrich Sperl have posted the fifth strongest performance over the past five years for their work on the Luxembourg-domiciled fund. Eckmann and Sperl have co-run the €289 million strategy since it was launched in 2004.

Europe has proven the pair's most popular hunting ground and currently comprises 40% of the portfolio’s geographic exposure. This is while BBB-rated (34%) and BB-rated (27%) bonds have proven the most popular assets by credit rating.

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Benno Brundler, MRB Partner

Fund: MRB Wandelobligationen Fonds EUR

Five year total return (June 2008-June 2013): 33.33%

Benno Brundler is a Zurich-based fund manager currently overseeing three strategies, covering global equities, gold and precious metals as well as the convertibles strategy. He has overseen the MRB Wandelobligationen Fonds since it was launched in February 2006.

Brundler holds around 50 positions at any one time and emphasises systematic, value analysis as one of the main tenants of his fund’s focus. At present, Brundler has significant exposure to both India (14%) and the Netherlands (13%).

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Miles Geldard, Jupiter

Fund: Jupiter JFG Global Convertibles I EUR*

Five year total return (June 2008-June 2013): 37.73%

Miles Geldard, Jupiter’s head of fixed interest and multi asset, sits in third place over five years for his combined work on the Jupiter JGF Global Convertibles fund and his previous strategy, the RWC Global Convertibles fund.

The former JP Morgan manager oversaw the launch of the Jupiter fund in October 2010 and also ran the RWC strategy, which is now overseen by Davide Basile.

Geldard believes convertibles are currently offering prudent investors a good antidote to what he sees as a strongly overvalued government bond market.

*Note: The above graph indicates the combined performance of both the RWC Global Convertibles fund during Geldard's tenure and his subsequent performance on the Jupiter JGF Global Convertibles fund, which was launched in 2010.

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Arnaud Brillois, Lazard

Funds: Objectif Convertible A/Objectif Convertible Couvert

Five year total return (June 2008-June 2013): 44.35%

Arnaud Brillois of Lazard Frères Gestion is the only manager to have entered the top five for his performance across two separate global convertibles funds. He has run the Objectif Convertible since July 2008 and the Objective Convertible Couvert since March 2010.

In the €56 million Objectif Convertible fund, Brillois has taken advantage of a correction in the European equity market to add to holdings here. France is the most notable area of investment, with the country making up 44% of the fund’s geographic allocation.

On a sector basis, Brillois has a significant overweight to financials, while also having minor overweights in both consumer goods and industrials. This is while running significant underweights to oil and gas companies and healthcare.

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Leonard Vinville, M&G

Fund: M&G Global Convertibles Fund EUR C Acc

Five year total return (June 2008-June 2013): 56.18%

Leading the pack over five years is M&G’s convertibles veteran Leonard Vinville. Vinville has been running the UK-domiciled fund since July 2007 and is supported on the strategy, which is registered for sale in eight markets, by Richard Halle.

Vinville’s main sector bets in the €1.1 billion strategy are oil and gas (15%), financials (14%) and industrials (14%), with his top holdings being in two Russian firms, energy giant Lukoil and steel producer Severstal.

Despite two Russian firms occupying his two largest positions, Vinville has a significant allocation to the United States (35%), ahead of France (12%) and the UK (9.6%).

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Related Fund Managers

Ulrich Sperl
Ulrich Sperl
3/82 in Bonds - Convertibles Global (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 26.45%
Alain Eckmann
Alain Eckmann
4/82 in Bonds - Convertibles Global (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 26.45%
Davide Basile
Davide Basile
67/82 in Bonds - Convertibles Global (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 9.09%
Leonard Vinville
Leonard Vinville
42/82 in Bonds - Convertibles Global (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 13.60%
Arnaud Brillois
Arnaud Brillois
1/82 in Bonds - Convertibles Global (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 33.10%
Richard Halle
Richard Halle
181/603 in Equity - Europe (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 21.04%
Benno Brundler
Benno Brundler
Miles Geldard
Miles Geldard
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