Merian North American Equity Fund R GBP Acc
Rated Fund 2014-19. Follows market trends
This fund won Money Observer’s Best North America Fund award in 2013 and 2014 and was highly commended in 2016.
It was renamed in 2018 to reflect the rebranding of Old Mutual Global Investors, but Merian North American Equity’s well defined investment process has remained the same: the managers ‘follow the money’ – ascertaining what type of stocks other investors are buying and then buying the best ones in those categories.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, such a strategy was expensive and difficult to achieve amid a rocker road for the US market in 2018. That is likely to persist while volatility remains elevated, but we continue to recommend this fund for its momentum-driven strategy.
A three-man management team consisting of Ian Heslop, Amadeo Alentorn and Mike Servent has been at the helm of the fund since 2004. This team’s approach is to assess companies against criteria including stock price valuation, balance sheet quality, growth characteristics, efficient use of capital, analyst sentiment and supportive market trends. These characteristics are analysed to produce a single return forecast for each stock.
They then build a diversified portfolio of more than 200 mainly larger company stocks that are expected to outperform in the current economic environment. How the characteristics of stocks are weighted depends on historical factors and prevailing conditions. Weightings are therefore dynamic, tilting the portfolio towards the characteristics most likely to be effective at the time.
An advantage of this approach is that because the managers do not follow a rigid investment style, they do not exclude any stocks as style oriented investment managers do, and can invest in any type of stock provided it is deemed appropriate by their system.
Narrative and ratings content all as of January 2019.See all Money Observer rated funds
|Apple Inc||2.24 %|
|Visa Inc Class A||2.11 %|
|Procter & Gamble Co||2.10 %|
|Microsoft Corp||1.98 %|
|Boeing Co||1.93 %|
|Mastercard Inc A||1.90 %|
|The Walt Disney Co||1.69 %|
|Amazon.com Inc||1.62 %|
|Adobe Inc||1.61 %|
|Intuit Inc||1.55 %|
|United States||96.68 %|
|Financial Services||15.77 %|
|Consumer Cyclical||12.09 %|
|Consumer Defensive||6.78 %|
|Real Estate||6.75 %|
|Basic materials||5.36 %|
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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