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The five biggest cross-border funds: growth and performance review

Citywire Selector runs the rule over the biggest players to see whether flows have stayed strong since our last analysis.

Beyond blockbusters

Citywire Selector last assessed and analysed the biggest cross-border funds back in April 2015, but a lot can change over a year and a half, so are the power players still gaining assets or have investors dialled down their interest?

In this analysis, we take a closer look at the five biggest funds in assets under management as at the end of December 2016 in US dollar terms, as well as investigating how assets have changed over the period and delving into how they have fared in performance terms.

Note: Performance given relative to appropriate benchmark as assigned by Citywire’s data team. Performance data covers the period April 30 2015 to the most recent available date, which is January 31 2017. Assets gathered by Citywire. Cross-border funds defined as those sitting in the Global ex US peer group and available for sale in more than one jurisdiction.

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Templeton Global Total Return A (Mdis) USD

Fund manager(s): Michael Hasenstab & Sonal Desai

Assets at April 2015: $32.09 billion

Assets at December 2016: $18.93 billion

Kicking off the list is the fifth biggest cross-border fund currently tracked by Citywire Selector, the Templeton Global Total Return fund. This blockbuster global bond fund has seen its assets almost half over the analysis period, dropping from $32.9 billion to $18.9 billion, according to Citywire data.

In terms of performance, the giant fund is lagging its Citywire-assigned benchmark on a 21-month return basis, having lost 1.3% while the index rose 1.39%. Citywire Investment Research looked at Michael Hasenstab’s underperformance more closely in February of last year, in which he said there was market disconnect driving poor returns.

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DWS Top Dividende LD

Fund manager(s): Thomas Schüssler

Assets at April 2015: $15.78 billion

Assets at December 2016: $19.47 billion

Leap-frogging the Franklin Templeton fund is Deutsche Asset Management’s income-focused approach, which is overseen by the firm’s recently appointed co-head of global equity, Thomas Schüssler. Schussler, who has overseen the fund since 2005, has seen assets increase by over $3.5 billion over the past year and a half.

Although it has seen rising assets, the DWS Top Dividende fund has under-performed its Citywire-assigned benchmark, despite posting a positive return over the period. Schussler returned 3.4% against a 5.2% index rise. On a three-year, absolute return basis he returned 16.5% against a 20.9% index rise.

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AB FCP-Global High Yield Portfolio A USD

Fund manager(s): Douglas Peebles/Gershon Distenfeld/Paul DeNoon

Assets at April 2015: $22 billion

Assets at December 2016: $19.59 billion

Narrowly ahead of the Deutsche Asset Management fund is AllianceBernstein (AB) and its flagship global high yield bond fund. This long-running strategy has seen assets fall slightly over the analysis period but it remains the third biggest cross-border fund overall.

It is slightly behind its benchmark in terms of absolute returns, having returned 7.3% while the BofA Merrill Lynch Global High Yield TR was up nearly 9%. The fund management trio of Distenfeld, DeNoon and Peebles have been in place on the Luxembourg-domiciled fund since April 2004, when DeNoon joined, albeit with Peebles (1997) and Distenfeld (1999) boasting longer track records.

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PIMCO GIS Income E USD Acc

Fund manager(s): Alfred T. Murata & Daniel Ivascyn

Assets at April 2015: $9.45 billion

Assets at December 2016: $21.19 billion

Sitting in second spot is the PIMCO GIS Income fund overseen by Alfred T. Murata and the Pimco group CIO, Daniel Ivascyn. This fund also boasts one of the largest increases in assets over the relatively short timeframe, having more than doubled its assets over the past 21 months.

This increased investor appetite coincided with a strong period of outperformance for the management duo, who posted returned of 7.48% against a 3.3% index rise. The pair have co-run the fund since its launch in November 2012 and also work together on the Pimco GIS Strategic Income fund.

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Carmignac Patrimoine A EUR Acc

Fund manager(s): Rose Ouahba & Edouard Carmignac

Assets at April 2015: $31.55 billion

Assets at December 2016: $25.67 billion

The biggest cross-border fund crown in the Citywire database is once again retained by French asset manager Carmignac. The flagship mixed asset fund, Carmignac Patrimoine, has lost almost $6 billion in assets over the past 21 months but remains a titan in terms of overall assets under management.

Overseen by two of its most experienced investors, bond chief Rose Ouahba and company founder Edouard Carmignac, the fund has struggled in performance terms lately. It is in negative territory for this analysis period, while its Citywire-assigned index rose 6.2%.

Speaking to Citywire Selector last summer, Ouahba said the Patrimoine fund had moved to a strongly defensive position and added large amounts of cash over the end of 2015. This was put to work in early 2016 as the managers sought to add to ‘fallen angel’ bonds exposure.

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Related Fund Managers

Rose Ouahba
Rose Ouahba
395/617 in Mixed Assets - Flexible EUR (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 8.21%
Alfred T. Murata
Alfred T. Murata
28/124 in Mixed Assets - Conservative USD (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 13.66%
Daniel Ivascyn
Daniel Ivascyn
27/124 in Mixed Assets - Conservative USD (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 13.66%
Douglas Peebles
Douglas Peebles
19/172 in Bonds - Global High Yield (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 17.54%
Gershon Distenfeld
Gershon Distenfeld
33/172 in Bonds - Global High Yield (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 16.01%
Paul DeNoon
Paul DeNoon
27/172 in Bonds - Global High Yield (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 16.88%
Sonal Desai
Sonal Desai
104/404 in Bonds - Global (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 4.02%
Thomas Schüssler
Thomas Schüssler
64/148 in Equity - Global Equity Income (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 16.43%
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