Europe is experiencing something of a stable period following a volatile 12 months which took in Brexit, a volatile French election and concerns over populism becoming more and more prominent.
With that in mind, Citywire Selector has zeroed in on the highly-competitive Equity - Europe funds sector to see which strategies have stood tall over the past six months.
Over the first half of 2017, the average fund tracked by Citywire returned 7.38%, while the most-commonly held benchmark, the FTSE World Europe EUR, rose 7.46%. So, who went above and beyond this performance?
MainFirst - Top European Ideas A
Six month return (December 2016-June 2017): 18.8%
Kicking off our funds countdown is the MainFirst - Top European Ideas fund, which breached a total return of over 18% during the first six months of 2017. This is overseen by a Citywire AA-rated team which includes veteran Olgerd Eichler, as well as Evy Bellet and Alexander Dominicus.
The Frankfurt-based investment team has a strong domestic bias by investing largely in German corporations, with 33.1% allocated here. In terms of sector allocations, they have 36.2% in financials and 22.4% in industrials. The fund largely uses a blended bottom-up approach, particularly investing in companies with solid management and less volatile sectors.
OTEA PEA A
Six month return (December 2016-June 2017): 19.56%
Another fund nearing the 20% total return mark was the team overseeing the OTEA PEA A fund run by French boutique OTEA Capital. The OTEA Capital team is comprised of Citywire A-rated managers Laurent Geppugit and Thierry Levalois.
The pair have 70% of their investment in two just areas, namely industrials and services (30.60%) and technology (39.93%). The French Investors also show strong knowledge of their home market with 83.14% of their portfolio invested in French business.
HiQ Invest Fundamental Value
Six month return (December 2016-June 2017): 24.1%
HiQ Invest Fundamental Value stood out as the top performing fund of 2017 so far, returning 24.1%, fully surpassing the Citywire selector calculated average for funds over this 6 month period.
The fund takes a concentrated approach investing in 10 to 25 small cap companies. It mainly focuses on arbitrage investing and relies on systematic fundamental analysis to follow a pattern of simultaneous buying and selling securities, commodities or currency across different markets.
The HiQ investment team have shown vast improvement in recent years, having jumped over 700 places in 12 months during the period between March 2015 and March 2016. This effective technique has been steadily perfected to continue its effectiveness through to 2017.