Does long manager tenure equal outperformance?

australian equities Hyperion Ausbil IML Legg Mason Perennial Pendal Group

22 May 2020
| By Laura Dew |
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There are six Australian equity fund managers who have worked on their funds for more than 20 years, according to data.

According to FE Analytics data, within the Australian Core Strategies universe, there were 292 funds in the Australian equity sector.

The longest-serving managers were Paul Xiradis on the Ausbil Australian Active Equity fund and Mark Arnold on the Hyperion Australian Growth Companies who had both worked on their funds for 22 years.

Meanwhile, Anton Tagliaferro had worked on the IML Australian Share fund at IML for 21 years as had Matthew Lambert on the Legg Mason Martin Currie Sustainable Equity fund. Lastly, Andrew Waddington had managed the Pendal Imputation fund and John Murray had managed the Perennial Value Australian Shares Trust for 20 years.

Looking at whether this consistency had contributed to performance, the best-performing fund over the past 20 years to 30 April was IML Australian Share which returned 434% followed by Ausbil which returned 422%.

All of the six funds had returned more than the Australian equity sector average which was a return of 282%.

However, a long track record and experience did not necessarily help funds to navigate turbulent markets with only the Hyperion Australian Growth Companies fund beating the Australian equity sector average since the start of the year.

The Hyperion fund lost 1.8% since the start of year to 19 May 2020 compared to losses of 16% by the sector while the other five funds all also reported losses with the worst being Perennial Value Australian Shares Trust which lost 22%.

In its factsheet, Hyperion said its top holdings included CSL, Dominos Pizza, Resmed, Cochlear and REA Group.

“The fund considerably outperformed the benchmark, largely due to the changes that have strategically been made to our strategies over the last 24 months,” it said.

“Increasing cash levels to double-digit rates, removing cyclical positions and increasing the weights of businesses with robust business models that have strong value propositions and low or modest levels of financial gearing attributed to our results.”

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