Merian Asia Pacific Fund R GBP Acc
Rated Fund 2018-19. Uses numbers-driven investment process
This fund slipped into the third quartile in its sector last year, unsurprisingly given its strategy, but it remains a top performer over three- and five-year timescales. The fund’s managers emphasise that their investment process may come under pressure during periods when investor risk appetite switches rapidly between ‘risk-on’ and ‘risk-off’.
Ian Heslop, Amadeo Alentorn and Mike Servent have run another two Rated Funds in different sectors – Merian Global Equity and Merian North American Equity since 2004 – and managed Merian Asia Pacific since 2011. All of their funds are very well-diversified: the global fund had more than 450 holdings at the end of 2018, while the US and Asia Pacific funds had more than 200.
Heslop, head of global equities at Merian Global Investors, the new name for Old Mutual Global Investors since 2018, has devised an investment process based on algorithms. He believes it is too difficult to forecast what is going to happen in the stockmarket, even if you correctly predict macroeconomic events. He and his team use this numbers-driven investment process to make investment decisions based on objective criteria.
They pinpoint the types of stocks other investors are buying and then look for the best companies they can buy to take advantage of the same themes. They seek to follow the money by trying to understand the types of stocks that will outperform. It is an approach that recognises the cyclicality of investment processes and adjusts exposures to take advantage of prevailing market conditions.
The fund responded to the depressed levels of investor risk appetite during the second half of 2018 by adopting a more defensive profile: a tilt towards higher-quality stocks.
Narrative and ratings content all as of January 2019.See all Money Observer rated funds
|Tencent Holdings Ltd||3.35 %|
|Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd||2.34 %|
|Samsung Electronics Co Ltd||2.23 %|
|Alibaba Group Holding Ltd ADR||2.16 %|
|Infosys Ltd||1.60 %|
|CSL Ltd||1.33 %|
|Tata Consultancy Services Ltd||1.30 %|
|Li Ning Co Ltd||1.27 %|
|LG Uplus Corp||1.27 %|
|PT Bukit Asam Tbk Class B||1.24 %|
|Asia - Emerging||47.08 %|
|Asia - Developed||36.81 %|
|Financial Services||23.39 %|
|Basic materials||9.47 %|
|Consumer Cyclical||7.19 %|
|Real Estate||5.15 %|
Ian joined Merian in 2000 and is head of global equities. He manages a range of hedge and retail funds and segregated mandates, including market neutral and long only funds. Ian boasts more than 20 years of investment experience and the team has won numerous awards for its funds. Prior to joining the business, Ian was a UK quantitative fund manager at Barclays Global Investors. He holds an MA in chemistry from the University of Oxford and a PhD in medicinal chemistry, University of Edinburgh. He is an associate of the Society of Investment Professionals.
Amadeo joined Merian in 2005 and is a fund manager and head of research in the global equity team. Prior to joining the business he developed simulation models for systemic and liquidity risk for the Financial Stability Group at the Bank of England, and worked as a software developer for CAD systems and for robotic applications. He holds a BEng in robotics from the University of Plymouth, an MSc in computer science, and a PhD in computational finance from the University of Essex. He is a CFA charterholder.
Mike joined Merian in 2004 and co-manages a range of funds within the global equity team. He joined from Barra International where he was a senior consultant specialising in the implementation of multi asset-class risk systems. Prior to this he spent five years with COR Risk Solutions, which developed the optimisation, back-testing and modelling software currently used by the global equity team. Mike has an MA in physics from the University of Oxford.
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