European equity investors have suffered a tough period over the start of the year, with high levels of outflows from major funds as asset allocators fretted over the region’s banking sector.
However, yield-hungry investors have clung onto opportunities in the European equity income sector, which has held up somewhat better than its broad sector equivalent over the past year.
The MSCI Europe TR EUR fell 10.8% over the 12 months to the end of July 2016, which compares with a fall of 7.49% by the MSCI Europe High Dividend Yield over the same analysis period.
But which fund managers have gone above and beyond this difficult scenario and improved their performance in terms of their Citywire ranking over this timeframe?
Here, Citywire Selector uncovers the three managers and manager teams posting the most improved performance.
3. Thomas Buckingham, JPM
- Ranking period one (July 2014-July 2015): 63/68
- Ranking period two (July 2015-July 2016): 8/71
Taking third place in a separate entry to his co-managers – more on them later – is Citywire + rated Thomas Buckingham. He is recognised for improving his individual standing for his performance across two funds in the European equity income sector over this timeframe.
Having moved up 55 places in the rankings, Buckingham produced the strongest two-year numbers out of the managers in this countdown but lost 6.54% over the past 12 months. However, this compares with an average manager loss of 11.1% over the same period, which sees him move into the top 10 performers.
2. Rupert Welchman, UBP
- Ranking period one (July 2014-July 2015): 66/68
- Ranking period two (July 2015-July 2016): 7/71
UBP’s Rupert Welchman takes second spot on his own in this analysis as his co-manager on the Luxembourg-domiciled UBAM Europe Equity Dividend+ fund. His colleague Scott Meech is not included in this countdown as he runs other funds in this sector which have impacted his personal ranking.
Moving up 59 places, Welchman has moved into the top 10 positions despite negative returns over both one- and two-year timeframes. His loss of 6.2% over the past 12 months outstrips both the index and average manager despite the wider market difficulties.
1. Philippa Clough & Nicholas Horne, JPM
Fund: JPM Europe Dividend Alpha I Acc EUR
- Ranking period one (July 2014-July 2015): 67/68
- Ranking period two (July 2015-July 2016): 1/71
Taking joint top spot over one-year is JPM’s Philippa Clough and Citywire + rated Nicholas Horne, who co-run the JPM Europe Dividend Alpha fund alongside Thomas Buckingham. The €52 million fund has been overseen by the trio since November 2013, with Buckingham having joined in January 2015.
The fund lost just 0.38% in the 12-month period, which is well ahead of the average manager and the index. The trio focus on the UK, where they have a slight overweight at 34.7% of overall exposure, while financials, which make up over one-quarter of investments, is the largest single sector allocation. This is while strongly underweighting both healthcare and the Swiss market.