Fund of funds performance data

Top performer over one year – up from third place in last month’s analysis – is the Prudential Growth fund. This has knocked last month’s one-year leader, M&G Managed Growth, into second place, although the funds are practically identical. Both invest solely in funds managed by M&G, with the largest holding being Graham French’s resource-heavy M&G Global Basics fund, followed by the Recovery and International Growth funds. The named manager on the Prudential fund is Matthew Williams, while French manages the M&G fund. As both funds returned 20.6% over the year to March 7, the Prudential fund takes top spot only by virtue of its marginally lower one-year volatility. A 28.5% return secures third place for the M&G fund over three years.

In third place over one year – from second last month – is Investec Managed Growth, managed by Philip Saunders. The £26.7m fund aims for capital growth with a diversified portfolio of investment trusts. The top 10 holdings make up just over one-third of the fund. The biggest stake, at 4.8%, is in Edinburgh investment trust, with JP Morgan Fleming European and SVM UK the second and third-largest holdings. Investec Managed Growth is placed fifth of 29 funds of funds in the sector over three years, up from sixth place last month.

John Chatfeild Roberts’ Jupiter Merlin Growth Portfolio holds on to its place at the top of the three-year chart with a return of 34.8%, comfortably ahead of its nearest rival CF Miton Global Portfolio. The Jupiter trust holds 14 underlying funds and is 34% invested in British equities. However, its biggest weighting, at 35.5%, is to specialist and emerging markets funds, where it holds JPMF Natural Resources, Jupiter Emerging European Opportunities and Jupiter Financial Opportunities.

The second-placed Miton Global fund, managed by Sam Liddle, is up two places from last month’s analysis. JPMF Natural Resources is a top-five holding here too, and Liddle has recently taken a stake in Jupiter Financial Opportunities. However, his largest single holding at January 31 was Legg Mason Japan Equity, at 8.5% of the portfolio.

Marlborough Active Managed, run by Gurjit Soggi, made the largest jump up the rankings over one year, from 25th to 14th place with a one-year return of 11.9%. The biggest faller over one year showed the largest rise in rankings the previous month. Having climbed from 28th place to 10th during January, L&G Worldwide has fallen back to 27th with a return of 8.5% compared with the sector average gain of 11.9%.

The three-year table saw one new entrant – Artemis Portfolio Growth. However, given the announcement that Artemis is to sell its multi-manager funds to Credit Suisse Asset Management (see news, page 5), its future in the Active managed sector may be brief.

Percentage returns, volatility and fund size for funds of funds in the IMA Active Managed sector, bid-bid, net income reinvested.Source: Standard & Poor’s