The Global Investor/ISF Investment Excellence Awards 2013 celebrated the achievements of the asset management industry over the past 12 months at a gala dinner on Wednesday 3 July at the Grange St Paul’s Hotel in London. The awards were decided by a panel of senior figures from across the financial industry.
Photos from the awards evening are now available to view online: http://goo.gl/h4QR3
Global Investor/ISF would like to thank everyone who submitted applications for this year – the strength of the applications made the judging process difficult– and those who attended the awards dinner.
The judging panel comprised:
• Alastair O'Dell, editor, Global Investor/ISF
• John Redwood MP, co-founder of Evercore Pan Asset and chairman of the firm’s investment committee
• Penny Green, associate at BESTrustees, chief executive of of the Superannuation Arrangements of the University of London (SAUL) and former deputy chief executive of the Pensions Advisory Service
• Kim Nash, client director of PTL (formerly known as Pitman Trustees)
• Steve Delo, chief executive of PAN Governance and former president of the Pensions Management Institute
• Ben Gunnee, European director of Mercer Sentinel Group
The awards were hosted by O’Dell and British & Irish Lions legend Fergus Slattery.
ASSET MANAGER OF THE YEAR: Insight Investment
Insight’s focus on addressing the investment needs of institutional clients in a turbulent market and regulatory environment was instrumental in winning this award. Over 80% of current mandates are invested in strategies that did not exist at the firm ten years ago, during which time AuM has increased from £25bn to £255bn.
During the period covered by the award, Insight has introduced a range of innovative investment solutions, delivered exceptional performance, completed a merger with currency specialist Pareto Investment Management and further developed its partnership-based approach to client service. Insight was ranked number one overall for LDI investments with UK consultants.
ASSET MANAGEMENT CEO OF THE YEAR: Graham Tuckwell, ETF Securities
Graham Tuckwell is founder and chairman of ETF Securities, one of the world’s leading independent providers of exchange traded commodities. Ten years ago, he launched Gold Bullion Securities, the world’s first physical gold exchange traded product (ETP) on the Australian Stock Exchange, since when gold ETPs have been listed on 31 exchanges throughout the world and have seen total AuM reach $147bn. In 2012, the trading volume of Gold Bullion Securities totalled $11.9bn. Over the past decade Tuckwell has grown the business from one person to more than 100 employees.
GLOBAL EQUITIES MANAGER: Ashmore Group
Ashmore has been a pioneer in emerging and frontier markets equities since it launched one of the first dedicated emerging market (EM) equity strategies in 1988. Since then it has launched several specialist strategies, including a global emerging markets small cap strategy in 2004 and a global emerging markets fund of closed end funds (Equity Select Fund) in 2009.
The EM small cap strategy has outperformed the MSCI EM small cap (net) benchmark on a three and five year basis and since inception in 2004. Ashmore’s global emerging markets strategy reflects the full view of a global investment team dedicated to emerging markets fixed income and equities
GLOBAL FIXED INCOME MANAGER: Pimco
Supported by investment professionals in offices throughout Asia, Europe, North America and South America, Pimco has been a leading fixed income investor for over 40 years. Despite the slowdown in global growth and persistent low yield, Pimco achieved more than €1.59trn of client assets worldwide as of March 31 2013, including €1.3trn in third-party client assets.
Total fixed income assets amounted to €1.46trn and AuM was up more than $270bn compared to the same period in 2012. Pimco’s global fixed income strategies strongly outperformed their benchmarks with modest volatility.
AMERICAS EQUITIES MANAGER: Neptune Investment Management
Neptune’s fund range consists of a number of pooled products and segregated mandates which together account for £5.9bn in AuM (as of March 31 2013). Its US equity strategy comprises the flagship Neptune US Opportunities Fund as well as the income-focused Neptune US Income Fund.
Within the BNY Mellon CAPS North America equity sector, the US Opportunities Fund is ranked first year-to-date and over 10 years, while it is also in the top three best performing funds over one and five years. Over the past 12 months, the yield-focused Neptune US Income Fund has returned 19%.
AMERICAS FIXED INCOME MANAGER: Neuberger Berman
Neuberger Berman manages $97bn in fixed income (as of March 31 2013), a 9% increase on the previous year, which indicates increasing investor appetite for its fixed income capabilities. The firm’s strategies span the fixed income spectrum: short-term, passive and enhanced indexing; active core management; global fixed income; currency; high-yield; and municipal.
In addition to successful NB Global Floating Rate Income Fund launches, High Yield Bond Ucits Fund AUM rose 47% to $9.5bn with returns of 5.82% over the six months to March 31 compared to the benchmark’s return of 6.17%.
UK EQUITIES MANAGER: Neptune Investment Management
Over the last 12 months Neptune’s global sector-based investment process has seen significant outperformance from a number of funds. The Neptune UK Mid Cap Fund and the Neptune UK Special Situations Fund have returned 34.2% and 22.6% respectively, outperforming the FTSE 250 Mid Index return of 24.3% and the FTSE All-Share Index return of 16.8%. The UK Special Situations Fund AuM has increased by 360% over the past 12 months, whilst the UK Mid Cap Fund has grown by 1100%.
UK FIXED INCOME MANAGER: Pimco
While evolving developments in the eurozone made for a challenging investment landscape, Pimco Europe grew to €494.3bn of client assets, representing approximately 31% of global AuM and an increase of €101.8bn over the previous year as of March 31. Fixed income AuM of €192.9bn was serviced out of the UK.
Pimco’s UK fixed income strategies posted strong performances versus their benchmarks – on a gross-of-fee basis in the 12 months to March 31, the Select UK Income Bond Fund returned 16.9%, outperforming its benchmark by 11.5%. The funds achieved these returns with either comparable or lower volatility than their corresponding benchmarks.
EUROPEAN EQUITIES MANAGER: Aberdeen Asset Management
Aberdeen manages €6.3bn in European equity assets, which accounts for 4.3% of the total equity assets managed as of March 31. Its well-resourced pan European equity team of 16 investment professionals have an average industry experience of 11 years and nine years at Aberdeen.
Stock selection is the main driver of alpha for the asset manager – the firm adds value by identifying good quality stocks, defined chiefly in terms of management and business model, which are attractively priced. The Aberdeen Global-European Equity Fund has an active share of 78%.
EUROPEAN FIXED INCOME MANAGER: BlueBay Asset Management
A key part of BlueBay’s strategic business model is to take advantage of the strong secular growth trends within European corporate fixed-income markets. It has continued to build on its European fixed-income business which is focused on both corporate and government debt and now manages 14 long-only and alternative funds that invest in European investment grade fixed and high yield fixed income; this includes absolute return strategies as well as a diversified credit fund.
AuM has increased $15.1bn in the 12 months up to 31 March to $55.7bn and the firm has implemented a number of key hires over the past year.
ASIA PACIFIC EQUITIES MANAGER: Schroders
The Schroders International Selection Fund (ISF) Asian Equity Yield has achieved an annualised excess return of 1.59%. As of March 31, the fund manages $2.3bn of AuM, with a one year annualised return of 23.87% versus 11.58% and was ranked 1st quartile on a one-year, three-year and five-year basis against its peers within the Asia Pacific ex-Japan Equity category in the Morningstar universe.
ISF Asian Total Return has achieved an annualised excess return of 14.93%. It manages $2.3bn of AuM, with a one year annualised return of 20.74% (10.67%). The fund was ranked 1st quartile on a one-year, three-year and five-year basis against its Asia allocation category peers.
ASIA PACIFIC FIXED INCOME MANAGER: Stratton Street
Stratton Street has seen a significant inflow of assets over the past 12 months – AuM rose from $1bn in September 2012 to $2bn by April 2013. The Renminbi Bond Fund celebrated its five year anniversary as one of the top performing bond funds globally, with total return of the dollar A class of 79.8%.
In 2012 the fund had its best year to date, with returns of 25.3% while almost exclusively invested in investment grade, largely sovereign and quasi-sovereign bonds. AuM for this fund has reached $380m, while the New Capital Wealthy Nations Bond Fund hit $1bn in 2012 and has returned 36.8% since inception.
MENA EQUITIES MANAGER: Jadwa Investment
For the fifth consecutive year, Jadwa’s regional flagship mutual funds were among the top three performers in their respective categories, with the Jadwa Saudi Equity Fund and Jadwa Arab Markets Equity Fund being the best performing amongst their peers in 2012.
By March 31, the Arab Markets Equity Fund had generated a return of 65% since inception, outperforming its benchmark by 65%. The Saudi Equity Fund had generated a return of 106% since inception (outperforming its benchmark by 69%), while the GCC Equity Fund had generated a return of 77% since inception, outperforming its benchmark by 76%.
MENA SUKUK MANAGER: Al Rayan Investment
Over the past year, assets at Al Rayan Investment (ARI) have grown from expansion of existing mandates and new wins. Mandates awarded rose 69% to $510m (a ten-fold increase over 24 months) and segregated sukuk mandates tripled.
On average, investment grade sukuk portfolios returned 9.8% over the past 12 months while portfolios without a rating restriction have seen returns of more than 11% (versus the HSBC GCC Sukuk Total Return index +9.2%). Aware that regional sell-side research is still developing, ARI has established an in-house research capability to identify big picture trends and drill down to individual opportunities.
LEGAL FIRM: Linklaters
Over the past 12 months, Linklaters has broken new ground by forming an alliance with Allens in Australia, which includes two joint ventures in Asia. In December 2012, Allens and Linklaters combined to advise on State Grid Corporation of China’s acquisition of a 41% stake in ElectraNet.
In South Africa, the firm has signed an alliance agreement with Webber Wentzel and it has also opened a new office in Washington, D.C. In February, Linklaters was one of only four firms to be granted a qualifying foreign law practice (QFLP) licence by the Singapore Ministry of Law.
WEALTH MANAGER: Barclays
Barclays recorded the highest asset growth year on year in comparison to its competitors in 2012 and this momentum has continued into the first quarter of 2013, with client assets reaching a new record of £200bn - an 8% increase on the last quarter of 2012. This increase was driven by net new assets from high-net-worth clients and supported by favourable market conditions. Profits increased 20% year-on-year to £60m and income was up 4% year-on-year to £469m, driven by high-net-worth businesses.
FUND ADMINISTRATOR: Deutsche Bank
Deutsche Bank offers full service administration, custody, cash, FX, liquidity facilities and middle office services to hedge funds, funds of funds, private equity funds, infrastructure/real estate funds, mutual funds, private banks, managed accounts and structured products.
It has $200bn AuM, more than 1200 funds, 300 clients, more than 550 employees and is present in 12 locations in the US, EMEA and Asia. Over the last 12 months the bank has launched the industry's first app-based fund services platform that incorporates fund administration with the bank's research and analytical tools in one web portal - Autobahn.
HEDGE FUND ADMINISTRATOR: Citi
Citi has approximately $280bn in hedge fund AuA, representing 265 clients and 1,335 funds. Its OpenInvestor solution offers hedge fund managers middle office, fund services, custody and investing and financing solutions that support their performance objectives across asset classes, strategies and geographies.
Citi said it combines specialised expertise with a comprehensive set of capabilities and a global network to create strategic solutions that help hedge fund managers meet their critical needs and support their long term growth. The foundation of its investment services approach is its specialised expertise and operational advantage, including investment management orientation, operational risk management and operational excellence.
INVESTMENT CONSULTANT: bfinance
bfinance supports its clients with portfolio strategy and design, investment manager selection, portfolio risk services, due diligence and implementation and ongoing active advisory solutions. Its services are designed to enable clients to achieve optimal investment returns by providing highly-customised, independent and transparent advice and dynamically-managed investment solutions.
From its offices in London, Paris, Munich, Amsterdam, Montreal and Dubai, it has advised more than 300 sophisticated corporations and institutional investors with total assets in excess of $1trn, helping clients achieve investment outperformance over their relevant benchmark indices in excess of 3% in areas such as emerging markets equities and debt.
PENSION INVESTMENT CONSULTANT: Redington
Redington designs, develops and delivers investment strategies to help institutional clients reach their investment goals. Over the last 12 months it has innovated across key stages of client development (clear goals and objectives; LDI and overlay strategies; liquid market strategies; liquid and semi-liquid credit strategies; illiquid credit strategies; Illiquid market strategies; and ongoing monitoring).
Communication to the wider institutional investment industry includes RedBlog (a selection of education sessions held in 2012/2013), quarterly risk-adjusted return publications and a selection of publications and thought pieces. A notable innovation was RedSTART, a financial literacy programme tackling young peoples’ failure to save.
ETF ISSUER: IndexIQ
Since its foundation in 2006, IndexIQ has introduced indexes and funds that allow investors of all types and sizes to access sophisticated institutional-quality strategies (including hedge fund replication, real estate and private equity), working to ‘democratise the investment landscape’.
In 2012, the firm continued to add to its roster of first-of-their-kind offerings with the launch of the IQ Hedge Market Neutral ETF (QMN), which joined a product line already well-known for introducing the first family of hedge fund replication ETFs in the US including the IQ Hedge Multi-Strategy Tracker ETF (QAI).
HEDGE FUND: Pictet Asset Management
In 2012, Pictet Asset Management launched an offshore version of its Chinese long-short strategy, which had previously been available only in Ucits format. Further expansion of its long/short product offering is planned throughout 2013, responding to client demand for alternative sources of alpha within their return-seeking portfolios.
After starting its Ucits-compliant Pictet Total Return (PTR) initiative in 2010, over 60% of its assets in total return strategies are currently in the four Ucits strategies, evidence that clients embrace the liquidity and transparency offered by the initiative. Overall, alternatives assets have grown to $2.5bn as of March 31.
FUND OF FUND: Insight Investment
Insight is responsible for AuM of £255.3bn across absolute return, fixed income, liability-driven investment, cash management, multi-asset and specialist equity strategies. It is now the third largest manager of pension fund assets in the UK and assets in its Absolute Insight ‘fund of funds’ and component strategies have grown 10.6% over the past year to £2.2bn.
The Absolute Insight vehicle and all underlying strategies have outperformed their benchmarks by 100% over the 12 months to March 31 and all of the strategies have outperformed their benchmarks over three years and since inception.
AFRICA EQUITIES: Investec Asset Management
More than half of Investec‘s £69bn AuM is invested across the continent of Africa with more than 70 investment professionals covering in excess of 60 emerging countries. Over the last 12 months it has continued to develop its frontier investment capability with the launch of a number of dedicated Africa funds (such as the Investec Africa Opportunities Fund).
In excess of £3.2bn of net flows was delivered over the year to end February 2013, the majority of which came from client groups in the Americas and Japan, Africa and Europe and into emerging market fixed income and multi-asset investment capabilities.
AFRICA FIXED INCOME: Insparo Asset Management
Since June 2008 the Insparo Africa and Middle East Fund (which now has AuM of $160m) has returned more than 48%, significantly outperforming the MSCI Frontier Markets Index, which returned -50% over the same period. Annualised volatility since launch has been less than 9% and the fund returned 17.9% in 2012.
Following a tough launch year, the Africa Equity Fund returned 22% in 2012, which has strengthened the firm’s position among the top frontier market investment managers in the industry. Two new products will be launched later this year, supported by key hires to the investment team to oversee these products.
ACCOUNTING FIRM: Kinetic Partners
Kinetic Partners provides a range of services including tax, audit, assurance, risk management, regulatory and compliance consulting, focused exclusively on the financial services industry. With tax experts in London, Hong Kong and Switzerland, the firm supports clients of all sizes in meeting their advisory and compliance needs.
It is advising multiple clients on the impact of the directive on their business, while the audit and assurance team delivers an audit tailored to clients that include more than 50 UK-based investment managers and advisers.
INTERNATIONAL FINANCE CENTRE (OFFSHORE): Jersey Finance
Statistics for December 2012 show that despite global economic uncertainty, Jersey’s finance industry held steady and showed gains with total bank deposits of £152.1bn, value of funds under administration increasing by 2% to £192.8bn and a rise of 19% in unregulated funds with alternative asset classes representing around 70% of Jersey’s total funds business.
Highlights of 2012/13 included enhancements to the Limited Liability Partnerships law, the re-introduction of a probate stamp duty cap and clarification of trust law.