Manager changes on Templeton Growth fund

Cindy Sweeting is to hand over the management of the Templeton Growth fund to Norman Boersma on March 1.

Franklin Templeton says the transition will be gradual and Sweeting will remain a part of the global equity portfolio management team, focusing on strategic fund positioning and risk management alongside Gary Motyl, the global equity chief investment officer.

Boersma also becomes president of Templeton Global Advisors, the Nassau-based investment advisor of the Templeton Global Equity Group. Sweeting will relocate to Lauderdale from the Nassau office, but will continue in her role as director of portfolio management.

Meanwhile, Standard & Poor’s (S&P) has placed the Templeton Growth fund under review. Despite the fund’s name, S&P says, the manager applies a long-term, absolute value approach, focusing on companies trading at significant discounts to their business value based on future earnings, cashflow and/or asset value. The portfolio positioning currently emphasises high-quality companies offering positive cashflow generation, trading at attractive prices. (article continues below)

Despite the fund’s long-term track record, S&P says it has been “a little disappointed” by its risk-adjusted performance over the last three years. The ratings agency acknowledges the style has been largely out of favour and markets have not been very receptive to fundamentals, but says stock selection could have been better, given the team’s experience.