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The 10 biggest sectors of 2017 and their top returning PMs revealed

Citywire analysis looks at the top performing fund managers from each of the biggest returning sectors in 2017.

Money-makers

When you think back on 2017's market it can pretty much be epitomized by one thing: even the looming threat of a potential nuclear war between the USA and North Korea could do little to impact market volatility.

The VIX 'fear' index hit all-time lows last year and often remained unperturbed by ongoing political scandals and geopolitical uncertainty. Despite this low volatility, some fund managers in more niche investment sectors managed to seize upon opportunities to come out on top of their peers.

This analysis looks at the top returning fund manager in each of 2017's 10 biggest sectors. The ranking then lists each number one placed manager in ascending order of their total returns for the 12 months ending December 31, 2017.

All those included in the list run Ucits funds or vehicles registered in Latin America tracked by Citywire.

The top ten ranking showcases a wide variety of manager skills and specialisms, with our top two spots occupied by managers that are part of the elusive triple-digit returns club, having returned over 100% in just 12 months.

Click on to find out who were 2017's best performers.

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10. Taeko Setaishi – Atlantis Investment Management

  • Fund: Atlantis Japan Opportunities
  • Sector: Equity Japan

Kicking off our top 10 countdown is Citywire AA-rated manager Taeko Setaishi of Hong Kong-based group Atlantis.

Setaishi has been running her Japan Opportunities equity fund since its inception in 2003 and adopts an all cap investment approach where she looks for undervalued growth companies as well as some cyclical growth opportunities.

Among her top holdings are Nittoku Engineering, which specializes in coil winding machines, manufacturing group Yamashin-Filter and electric motor maker Nidec.

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9. Murali Srikantaiah – Wellington Investment Management

  • Fund: Wellington Emerging Markets Local Equity
  • Sector: Equity Global Emerging Markets

Next up is the Citywire + rated global emerging market equity Murali Srikantaiah who has been running his $850 million Wellington Emerging Markets Local Equity fund since 2013.

Srikantaiah invests the majority of his fund (62%) in emerging Asia, followed by Latin America (10.5%) and emerging Europe (8.7%).

His main areas of focus are the consumer cyclical and financial services sectors, which each account for around 22% of his fund, while technology names make up 16%. Among his largest holdings are China’s Alibaba Group and Tencent, Brazil’s Itau Unibanco and Russia’s Sberbank.

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8. Nick Williamson – Old Mutual Global Investors

  • Fund: Old Mutual UK Smaller Companies Focus
  • Sector: Equity UK Smaller Companies

One of two small/mid cap managers to make onto this top 10 ranking, Nick Williamson is also the only UK equity representative in this list.

He has been managing the fund for two years and typically holds around 55 holdings in his portfolios. His largest sector exposure is toward financials at 21.9%, followed by industrial at 17.9% and consumer services at 16.5%.

Among his top holdings are UK software company Blue Prism, Fever-Tree Drinks and financial software firm Microgen.

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7. Kristian Heugh – Morgan Stanley Investment Management

  • Fund: Morgan Stanley Asia Opportunity
  • Sector: Equity Asia Pacific ex Japan

Citywire AAA-rated manager Kristian Heugh runs Morgan Stanley’s $314 million Asia Opportunity fund and has been with his firm for 17 years.

His US dollar-denominated Asian equity fund has a large overweight to China at 68.9%, double that of its benchmark, while is underweight India, Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong.

His three top sector allocations are toward technology, consumer discretionary and consumer staples at 28.7%, 27.5% and 22.1% respectively. His top holdings are Tencent Holdings, Alibaba Group and Foshan Haitian Flavouring & Food Co.

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6. Raik Hoffmann/Martin Wirth – Frankfurt Performance Management

Fund: FPM Funds Stockpicker Germany Small/Mid Cap

Sector: Equity German Small & Medium Companies

Our first duo and second small/mid cap experts come from a German boutique and both currently hold a Citywire A rating.

Riak Hoffman and Martin Wirth adopt a value approach that looks for companies with entrepreneurial freedom and high quality management teams in the German small/mid cap market.

Their largest sector allocations are to industrial and consumer discretionary at around 26% each, followed by financial at 9%. Their biggest holdings are Commerzbank, food delivery service Hello Fresh and Singulus Technologies.

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5. Tobias Tretter – Commodity Capital

  • Fund: Structured Solutions Next Generation Resources Fund
  • Sector: Equity Basic Industries

Making the first of two appearances in the top five, Citywire AAA-rated Tobias Tretter is the managing director of Zurich-based investment specialist Commodity Capital.

His first appearance in the ranking is for the performance of his basic industries fund while his second is for his gold and precious metals fund.

Tretter’s fund invests in resource companies that promote 'next generation' resources such as lithium, cobalt, graphite and other key materials required for the development of key technologies. They are primarily needed for renewable technologies, medical advances and demographic change products.

The fund is primarily focused on North America, which accounts for 45.5% of its geographical allcation, followed by South America at 29.6%. In terms of raw material allocation, lithium accounts for 71.4% of its portfolio.

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4. Mattia Nocera – Belgrave Capital Management

  • Fund: Vitruvius Greater China Equity
  • Sector: Equity Greater China

Citywire + rated Mattia Nocera is the CEO of UK outfit Belgrave Capital Management and the lead manager of its Vitrivius SICAV fund range.

He has been running the Vitruvius Greater China fund since its inception in 2009. According to its latest available factsheet dated end of October 2017, the fund’s largest sector allocation is toward consumer non-cyclical stocks at 39.8%, followed by communications and consumer cyclical names at 22.8% and 17.4% respectively.

Among its top holdings are auto manufacturer Geely and educational services groups New Oriental Education and Tal Education.

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3. Sung Ho Im – Mirae Asset Management

  • Fund: Mirae Asset China Growth Equity
  • Sector: Equity China

In third place is Sung Ho Im who has been running the Mirae Asset China Growth Equity fund since it was launched in 2015.

The US-denominated fund invest in growth stocks across the Chinese market and includes companies in the consumer, healthcare and e-commerce industries.

Little information is available on its portfolio composition with the latest factsheet dating back to March 2017. At that time, it’s largest holdings were Tencent Holdings, Alibaba Group and New Oriental Education.

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2. Antonio Flavio Clemente/João Paulo Gomes dos Reis – Venture Investimentos

  • Fund: Venture Value FIA
  • Sector: Equity Brazil

Coming in second place is a Brazilian duo from boutique Venture Investimentos. Citywire AA-rated managers Antonio Flavio Clemente and João Paulo Gomes dos Reis achieved triple digit returns but that wasn’t enough to beat our first placed manager.

Clemente is the founding partner of the small boutique and he has been running the fund alongside Gomes does Reis since its launch in 2010.

They follow a value investing approach and their largest allocation is towards the capital good sector at 29.6%, as of December 2017. Their next largest allocation is the aviation industry at 22.6%, followed by transport materials at 14%.

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1. Tobias Tretter – Commodity Capital

  • Fund: Commodity Capital – Global Mining Fund
  • Sector: Equity Gold & Precious Metals

Making his second appearance in our ranking in what was a stellar 12 months for his funds is Commodity Capital’s Tobias Tretter.

Topping our ranking with an eye-watering 139% return in US dollars over 2017, Tretter has managed this by investing in the beleaguered commodities sector and focusing on ‘Juniors’ and ‘Majors’ of the precious metals mining industry.

He defines ‘Juniors’ as mining companies about to launch a mine or working on a project and ‘Majors’ companies that already have a large number of projects in production.

His main focus is gold, which accounts for 65% of his portfolios, following by base metals at 14.1% and lithium at 12.6%. Within his geographical allocation, he favors North America (47.25%), with South America accounting for just under a third (30.1%) and Africa 12.7% of the portfolio.

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Related Fund Managers

Taeko Setaishi
Taeko Setaishi
2/158 in Equity - Japan (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 121.75%
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