Fund of funds performance data

The IMA Global Growth sector contains funds that invest at least 80% of their assets in equities but not more than 80% in British equities. Such a broad grouping – the funds can, after all, invest anywhere in the world – is bound to produce a wide range of performance, with returns over one year to July 11 (funds of funds only) ranging from 12.82% to 27.52% according to Standard & Poor’s, and three-year returns in an even wider range of 12.29% to 40.73%.

Few funds have stood still in the table compared with the last time we looked at the sector (June 13), though this is principally a result of the non-appearance of Halifax Fund of Investment Trusts (profiled opposite), the top fund in the sector for the past six months. Jupiter Merlin Worldwide Portfolio instead takes top spot over both one and three years, up from second and third place respectively in June.

The Jupiter fund, managed by John Chatfeild Roberts and his team, had 9.6% of its assets in British equities at the end of May. Its biggest single weighting was in American equities, where 18.8% was held in just one fund, Findlay Park US Smaller Companies. A further 24.5% is held in specialist and emerging markets funds, including Jupiter Financial Opportunities and JPMF Natural Resources. The 88m Worldwide fund has the highest one-year volatility of Global Growth funds of funds, at 2.89 versus a sector average of 2.40, but has only marginally above-average volatility over three years.

In second place over one year is Berkeley International Growth & Value, which has leapfrogged the third-placed fund, T Bailey Growth, since last month’s update. In contrast to the Jupiter fund, T Bailey’s portfolio is 48.5% invested in the UK, with just a 5% weighting to resources. Its biggest holding is George Luckraft’s Framlington Equity Income fund, and the only non-UK fund in its top 10 is the Artemis European Growth fund, managed by Philip Wolstencroft.

Sackville Growth Portfolio is the biggest mover in the one-year table, up seven places to 12th position. The Resolution International fund, run by Premier Fund Managers’ David Hambidge, fell four places to 17th – the biggest fall in a table where all constituents received a one-place promotion because of the Halifax fund’s temporary absence. However, this fund excludes the UK as a matter of policy, which underlines the difficulties of comparison. It is 44.8% invested in America (14% underweight its benchmark, the FTSE World ex UK index) and 21.8% in Europe, with its largest holding the First State Asia Pacific Leaders fund.

Over three years the second-placed fund, Hargreaves Lansdown Special Situations, is one of the few non-movers, having been overtaken by the Jupiter fund since last month. Its biggest holding is the Dublin version of the Old Mutual UK Select Smaller Companies fund, managed by Luke Kerr.

In third place is Credit Suisse Constellation, a 176m fund set up in 2001 specifically to invest in funds managed by specialist or boutique houses. It has 30 holdings and, like Jupiter, features Findlay Park US Smaller Companies as its biggest holding, although here the weighting is only 4.8%.

No dramatic changes were seen in the three-year rankings, with the biggest riser, Gurjit Soggi’s Marlborough International Equity fund, rising three places to fifth position. Margetts International Strategy and Scottish Widows Opportunity Portfolio each fell two places, to seventh and 13th respectively.

Credit Suisse continues to offer the only funds of funds in the Global Bond and Global Emerging markets sectors.

Table shows percentage returns, volatility and fund size for funds of funds in the three globally invested IMA unit trust/Oeic sectors, bid-bid, net income reinvested, over one and three years to July 11, 2005.

Source: Standard & Poor’s