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10 top fund managers rising up the Citywire ratings

We feature 10 fund managers moving up the Citywire ratings including the protégé of a small cap veteran shooting straight to the top.

Eustace Santa Barbara

In starting out as a fund manager, it helps to be able to learn from one of the best. Eustace Santa Barbara has shot straight to the top of the Citywire ratings after spending the first three years of his fund manager career investing alongside veteran small cap investor Giles Hargreave.

After joining Hargreave Hale as an analyst in 2013, Santa Barbara was promoted to co-manager of Hargreave’s Marlborough Special Situations fund less than a year later.

After clocking up the three years needed to be eligible, Santa Barbara has gained an AAA-rating thanks to the strong performance of the £1.4 billion fund over that period. The fund has delivered 57.6% over the three years, placing it firmly in the upper reaches of Citywire’s UK Smaller Companies sector.

Santa Barbara’s first rating places him one notch above Hargreave, who also runs the Marlborough UK Micro Cap Growth fund, up 55.5% over three years, and Nano-Cap Growth, slightly lagging the other two with a 41.5% return.

Eustace Santa Barbara

In starting out as a fund manager, it helps to be able to learn from one of the best. Eustace Santa Barbara has shot straight to the top of the Citywire ratings after spending the first three years of his fund manager career investing alongside veteran small cap investor Giles Hargreave.

After joining Hargreave Hale as an analyst in 2013, Santa Barbara was promoted to co-manager of Hargreave’s Marlborough Special Situations fund less than a year later.

After clocking up the three years needed to be eligible, Santa Barbara has gained an AAA-rating thanks to the strong performance of the £1.4 billion fund over that period. The fund has delivered 57.6% over the three years, placing it firmly in the upper reaches of Citywire’s UK Smaller Companies sector.

Santa Barbara’s first rating places him one notch above Hargreave, who also runs the Marlborough UK Micro Cap Growth fund, up 55.5% over three years, and Nano-Cap Growth, slightly lagging the other two with a 41.5% return.

Solomon Nevins

Solomon Nevins has likewise enjoyed a jump straight to the top of the ratings in his first month of eligibility, having notched up three years running the Architas Diversified Real Assets fund.

Nevins has been a manager on the fund since its launch in August 2014, now working alongside Sheldon MacDonald . The £220 million fund has a yield of 2.9%, paying dividends twice a year, and generates its income by investing in funds exposed to ‘real’ assets like buildings and commodities.

The portfolio is spread over 34 funds, including alternative income investment making up nearly half its holdings. While the fund has delivered a solid 17.5% return over the last three years, one holding that may be concerning Nevins right now is the 3.1% position in CatCo Reinsurance Opportunities (CAT) whose shares have been sliding on fears over its exposure to the Harvey and Irma hurricanes.

Craig Veysey

Craig Veysey’s climb up the Citywire ratings over the last year has seen the bond fund manager reach the summit this month.

Veysey’s AAA rating comes as his small £134 million Sanlam Strategic Bond fund sits at the top of the performance tables over three years, beating all-comers in Citywire’s Sterling Strategic Bond sector with a 29.4% return.

Veysey’s fund is heavily weighted towards debt from banks and insurers, making up a combined 47% of the fund and in his latest update to investors said he was continuing to find value in the sector.

‘We still find the best value risk/reward opportunities in subordinated financials, though we are being highly selective on the issues we hold in this space following the recent market moves,’ he said.

‘We can still find attractive running yields of 5%-plus however, accompanies by fairly low interest rate sensitivity, particularly for short call and high coupon bonds that continue to be replaced by new instruments by insurance companies and banks.’

Charles Glasse

Charles Glasse’s tiny £35 million Waverton European Income fund punches above its weight, beating better-known rivals such as Jupiter European, managed by Citywire AA-rated Alexander Darwall.

Glasse’s 137% return over that period places the fund in the top 10 of the 95-strong Europe ex-UK sector. Over three years, his performance also places him in the upper echelons of the sector, with a 59.9% return that has earned the manager an AA rating, up from A last month.

Glasse runs a high conviction portfolio, holding just 37 stocks, and is heavily overweight industrials and materials, against the backdrop of a resurgent European economy.

‘The key to making the most of this positive growth environment is to avoid the sectors and companies where volume gains from a robust economy are negatively offset by competitive price erosion driven by the internet,’ he said in his latest update to investors.

Glasse joined Waverton last year as part of the fund group’s acquisition of 2CG Senhouse, the investment firm he founded.

Ross Teverson

Ross Teverson has enjoyed the resurgence of emerging markets more than most, helping to lead his £132 million Jupiter Global Emerging Markets fund up the performance charts as the sector came back into favour at the beginning of last year.

The fund is up 53.9% over the last three years, sitting just inside the top 10 of funds in Citywire’s 225-strong Global Emerging Markets fund over that period.

Teverson took on the fund from Kathryn Langridge at the beginning of 2015. His AA rating this month, up from A, takes into account his three-year performance, including his record on Standard Life Investments’ Global Emerging Markets Equity Unconstrained fund, which he ran before joining Jupiter. His strong record on the emerging markets fund has helped to offset returns on his Jupiter China fund that have trailed rivals, up 23.8% over the last year.

Emerging markets have continued to outperform shares in developed markets this year, and Teverson is wary of overvalued areas. ‘You don’t have to look very hard to find potential risks, naturally, but we take comfort from an environment of rising earnings that mean share price valuations haven’t got out of hand as share prices trend upward,’ he said.

Henry Boucher

Henry Boucher has gained an AA rating this month, up from A, thanks to the solid returns from his £138.8 million Sarasin Food and Agriculture Opportunities fund.

Boucher invests according to themes he perceives are playing out in the food and agriculture world, and adopts a broad ‘from field to fork’ approach to the sector.

He has criticised rival funds for focusing too narrowly on grain-related companies, particularly those listed in the US.

His fund, which has returned 44.3% over the last three years, holds a spread of global stocks, with a quarter in Europe and around a fifth in each of the US, UK and emerging markets.

While Norwegian food producers like Marine Harvest (MHG.OL) and Leroy Seafood (LSG.OL) are among the top stocks, farming salmon and tapping into Boucher’s theme of a move towards healthier eating, he also finds space for the likes of online food shopping group Ocado (OCDO) and takeaway platform Just Eat (JE).

Alix Stewart

Alix Stewart has scooped an AA rating, as the three bond funds she runs for Schroders continue to top the performance charts.

Stewart’s £403.7 million Schroder Institutional Long-Dated Corporate Bond fund is the best performing fund in Citywire’s Sterling Corporate Bond sector, with a 37.5% return.

Long-dated bond funds dominate the leaderboard of the sector over three years, but among funds with a wider remit, few have beaten the 22.8% delivered from Stewart’s £935.9 million Schroder All Maturities Corporate Bond fund.

Both funds are targeted at an institutional investor audience. But Stewart’s retail fund, the £235.9 million Schroder UK Corporate Bond, isn’t far behind, with a 22.5% return.

Stewart has moved up from an A rating last month, and has been rated A or above since February 2015.

Simon Edelsten, Rosanna Burcheri and Alexander Illingworth

Artemis fund manager trio Simon Edelsten, Rosanna Burcheri and Alexander Illingworth have scooped A ratings, after a solid three years for their £74.5 million Artemis Global Select fund.

The three have delivered 60.2% over that period, placing their fund just outside the top 10% in Citywire’s 502-strong Global sector.

They have profited from soaring share prices of internet stocks, but have recently turned more cautious on the sector.

Edelsten announced in the fund’s latest yearly review that they had taken profits on their holding in Facebook (FB.O), arguing its valuation had run ahead of their forecasts, and against the backdrop of its online advertising being called into question.

Earlier this year the managers sold their holding in Amazon (AMZN.O), believing its share price had reach levels that were hard to justify.

Edelsten’s latest commentary returned to that decision, as he highlighted the fund’s focus on capital protection.

‘Our approach to active management is that holding good quality shares on high valuations may put capital at risk,’ he said.

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