Rated fund 2013-2017. Avoiding style bias in order to follow the money
A past winner of Best Global Growth Fund in Money Observer's annual fund awards, this fund has been overseen since 2004 by Ian Heslop, Old Mutual's head of global equities, with co-managers Amadeo Alenton and Mike Servant.
Rather than sticking to growth or value stocks, they use a variety of styles and follow multiple themes in their portfolio so that they are covering all the different investment styles that can outperform in different market conditions.
This produces a highly diversified portfolio which Heslop says has been very important in stabilising the returns the fund has achieved over the longer term.
Put at its simplest, the managers look for the types of stocks, such as financial or healthcare, that other investors are buying, and then look for the best companies they can buy to take advantage of these themes.
Companies are selected on the basis of five specific criteria: dynamic valuation or risk appetite; market dynamics and price movements; sustainable growth based on companies' growth prospects; analyst sentiment to take account of announcements; and company managements and their use of capital - all using published information in the public domain. These are considered in the context of the 'temperature of the market'.
However, Heslop's team, given the current market environment, is not making any forecasts. Instead, they look to 'follow the money', trying to understand the type of stocks that will outperform. Their approach recognises the cyclicality of investment processes and makes adjustments as market conditions change.