Neptune’s Mark Martin gets Square Mile A rating

Square Mile has included Mark Martin’s Neptune UK Mid Cap fund in its Academy of Funds, saying the manager has navigated the fund well through recent market volatility.

The research group has given the £652.9m fund an A rating, including the fund in its Academy of Funds for the first time since its December 2008 launch. Martin has run the fund continuously since that time.

John Monaghan, senior investment research analyst at Square Mile, said that despite Martin’s relative inexperience at being lead portfolio manager he has steered the fund through some volatile markets. 

“The strategy is somewhat insulated from the macro-economic tilts Neptune take with some of their more broad investment mandates. However, the manager is fully ingrained into the house approach and makes good use of the resources available.”

”He is a naturally cautious investor who always looks at the potential loss of capital before making any investment. That said, he is not afraid to back his best ideas and the fund can often hold large positions in ideas where, in his view, the likelihood for strong share price appreciation considerably outweighs the risk of any losses,” he adds.

The fund has signifcantly outperformed the sector over both the short and long term, returning 168.4 per cent over five years, compared to 63.3 per cent for the UK All Companies sector, according to FE data. Over the past six months the fund has returned 3.9 per cent compared to a 3.5 per cent loss for the sector.

“This fund offers solid exposure to a specialist area of the market and is run by a manager who has many of the elements required to have a lengthy and successful career,” says Monaghan.

Earlier this year Martin replaced Neptune UK Opportunities manager Scott MacLennan on the fund as part of Neptune’s restructuring of its funds business.

Martin has also been tipped by FundCalibre as a rising fund manager star of the industry, describing him as ”one of the UK’s most exciting young fund managers”.