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Benchmark beaters: the 14 managers who beat the US market over three years

Benchmark beaters: the 14 managers who beat the US market over three years

The US market is often recognised as one of the most efficient in the world and the task of outperforming it has not grown any easier over the years.

While many investors have been increasingly turning to passive products for their US equity exposure there are still active managers that have been producing strong performances over the past three years. This analysis looks at the fund managers that run Ucits compliant funds and has excluded those running solely US or Canada-domiciled strategies.

Out of the 386 managers Citywire tracks in US equities, only 14 managed to beat the 29.75% generated by the S&P 500 over that period. However, the top performing manager outperformed it by almost 15 percentage points.

Below we list the 14 managers, who work either in duos or as sole manager of their fund, with a focus on the top three in the list.

RankingFund managersFundsTotal return
11.Michael Foss Brown Advisory US Equity Value/Brown Advisory US Flexible Equity SRI/Brown Advisory US Flexible Equity29.77%
10.Frank Caruso Alliance Bernstein American Growth Portfolio31.36%
9.Massimo Baggiani Symphonia Azionario USA 31.38%
8.Alexander Farman-Farmaian Edgewood L Select US Select Growth 31.48%
7.Michael Thomassen/Romanas NarusisSydinvest USA Ligevaegt & Value KL 31.98%
6.Aziz HamzaogullariNatixis Actions US Growth/Loomis Sayles US Equity Leaders/Loomis Sayles US Growth Equity32.62%
5.Angel AgudoFidelity American Special Situations/Fidelity Funds - America33.33%
4.Howard GleicherSt James's Place North American/ABN AMRO MMF Aristotle US Equities33.75%

Top three

3. Peter Bourbeau/Margaret Vitrano – ClearBridge Investments

Coming in at third place is the Citywire AA-rated duo of Peter Bourbeau and Margaret Vitrano. The pair work at Legg Mason affiliate ClearBridge Investments with Bourbeau having run the US Large Cap Growth fund since its inception in 2007 while Vitrano joined him as co-manager in 2012.

Their fund focuses on US companies that are dominant in their respective industries and hold some household names in its concentrated portfolio such as Alphabet (previously Google), Amazon, Microsoft and Visa.

Within its sector allocation its highest exposure is towards technology at 31.2%, followed by healthcare at 21.2% and consumer discretionary at 15.4%.

2. Damon Ficklin/Dan Davidowitz – Polen Capital

In second place is AA-rated duo Damon Ficklin and Dan Davidowitz of Florida-based group Polen Capital. They have been running the Ucits version of the fund since its launch in May 2013, a US-domiciled version had previously been launched in October 2012.

The $244 million fund's top ten holdings has two names in common with the ClearBridge fund, including Alphabet and Visa. Other well-known companies like Facebook, Starbucks and Nike also feature prominently in their portfolio. Overall, it's ten biggest holdings account for 60% of the fund's assets.

It's largest sector allocation is towards technology, account for just over half (50.6%) of the portfolio, followed by consumer discretionary (29%) and healthcare (10.6%).

1. Patrick Meegan – Hotckhis & Wiley

Taking top spot in our US equity manager ranking over three years is Citywire + rated manager Patrick Meegan from Los Angeles-based group Hotckhis & Wiley.

Meegan has been running the fund since its inception in October 2013. Like his counterparts, Meegan has also fund success in well-known groups and in his top ten you will find companies like Citigroup, Bank of America and Hewlett Packard. 

According to November data, his largest sector allocation is to financials (29.5%), with technology (16.7%) and industrials (12.3%) in second and third place.

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Related Fund Managers

Frank Caruso
Frank Caruso
8/423 in Equity - US (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 46.77%
Massimo Baggiani
Massimo Baggiani
131/423 in Equity - US (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 28.93%
Alexander Farman-Farmaian
Alexander Farman-Farmaian
11/423 in Equity - US (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 46.00%
Romanas Narusis
Romanas Narusis
71/423 in Equity - US (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 32.19%
Michael Thomassen
Michael Thomassen
72/423 in Equity - US (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 32.19%
Aziz Hamzaogullari
Aziz Hamzaogullari
7/423 in Equity - US (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 50.47%
Angel Agudo
Angel Agudo
249/423 in Equity - US (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 23.33%
Howard Gleicher
Howard Gleicher
25/423 in Equity - US (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 41.27%
Margaret Vitrano
Margaret Vitrano
27/423 in Equity - US (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 40.70%
Peter Bourbeau
Peter Bourbeau
26/423 in Equity - US (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 40.70%
Dan Davidowitz
Dan Davidowitz
4/423 in Equity - US (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 51.20%
Damon Ficklin
Damon Ficklin
5/423 in Equity - US (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 51.20%
Patrick Meegan
Patrick Meegan
2/423 in Equity - US (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 55.62%
Michael Foss
Michael Foss
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