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The top long/short equity managers of 2015 revealed

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The top long/short equity managers of 2015 revealed

Long/short equity is perhaps the most competitive of the Alternative Ucits sectors tracked by of Citywire, with 183 managers boasting at least 12 months of experience.

While the sector is increasingly populated, the market is not always favourable for these hedge fund mirrors, with the average manager having returned just 5.2% over the 12 months to the end of December 2015.

However, 102 of the 183 managers posted a performance that exceeded this return, with 32 managing to post double-digit returns over the analysis period. But who shot the lights out over the past calendar year?

In this analysis, Citywire Selector takes a closer look at which managers outperformed and what powered them to the top of the rankings for the one-year leaderboard.

3. Max Anderl, UBS

Fund: UBS (Irl) Eq Opp Long Short I-X EUR

Total return (December 2014-December 2015): 26.89%

Citywire A-rated Max Anderl, who is head of concentrated equity alpha, takes third spot for his performance on the Dublin-domiciled Equity Opportunities Long Short fund, which he has run since it was launched in October 2010.

The fund has its largest exposure to the eurozone market, which accounts for 49.5% of the overall allocation. This is while the United States and the European market outside of the eurozone account for around 20% each. The largest sector bet is healthcare, which accounts for 27% of the assets.

2. Guy Rushton, Polar Capital

Fund: Polar Capital UK Absolute Equity I EUR

Total return (December 2014-December 2015): 27.16%

Taking second spot is one of the newer entrants to the Alt Ucits – Long/Short Equity market, with Polar Capital having launched the UK Absolute Equity fund for Guy Rushton in September 2014. Rushton joined the firm from Legal & General IM in August 2014.

This outperformance, which sees him pip Anderl to second spot by roughly 0.2 percentage points, is drawn from focusing almost entirely on the UK equity market. This is while having a minor allocation to the broader global and continental European markets.

1. David Tovey/Simon Hunter, BlackRock

Fund: BSF European Opportunities Extension A2 EUR

Total return (December 2014-December 2015): 36.91%

Taking top spot and also the only managers to achieve more than 30% return is BlackRock duo David Tovey and Simon Hunter. The line-up on the fund was changed in February of last year, right at the start of the analysis period, when Zehrid Osmani stepped back from managing the fund.

Within the €711 million fund, which is closed to new investors, Tovey and Hunter have focused their attention on the industrials market, which accounts for over a quarter of sector exposure. This is ahead of consumer discretionary and healthcare stocks, which both equate to around 17% of investments.

In terms of country exposure, Tovey and Hunter shun home bias, running an underweight to the UK market despite it being the largest geographic bet. Instead they have significant overweights to both Denmark and Sweden, while holding marginally more than the index in Switzerland.

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