Last year was particularly bleak for high yield portfolio managers as they were struck with oil’s price decline and uncertainty over US interest rates.
With oil prices remaining low in 2016, this tough environment looks here to stay in the near future. Keeping that in mind, the three managers our data has highlighted have shown resilience throughout this period and hold the best total returns over the last three years.
The average manager returned 2.83% over this analysis timeframe while the BofA Merrill Lynch US High Yield Cash Pay index rose 7.55%.
3. Norihiko Ogihara - Amundi
- Fund: Structura US High Yield Bond
- 3-year return: 14.23%
Kicking off our ranking is Norikho Ogihara, a fund manager at Amundi Japan who runs the Structura US High Yield Bond fund, launched in 2009.
The fund invests at least 75% of its assets in bonds generating a high yield and all investments are made in US dollar-denominated debt.
Ogihara has been with Amundi since 2010 and was previously with Crédit Agricole Asset Management, which later became Amundi following the merger of Crédit Agricole and Société Générale's asset management businesses.
2. Elaine Stokes, Matthew Eagan and Dan Fuss - Loomis Sayles
- Fund: Loomis Sayles High Income
- 3-year total return: 16.72%
This trio currently operates the Loomis Sayles High Income fund, worth $162.5 million. Dan Fuss has been running the fund since its launch in 1998 while Matthew Eagan was named co-manager in 2002 with Elaine Stokes joining them on the fund in 2007.
Over 70% of its debt comes from US-based companies while the remainder is from corporates issuing US dollar-denominated debt from countries such as Italy, Mexico and Germany.
During the first quarter of 2016, the fund underperformed its benchmark, the Barclays US Corporate High Yield Index, primarily due to security selection among high yield industrials.
1. Andrew Feltus and Tracy Wright - Pioneer Investments
- Fund: Pioneer Funds US High Yield
- 3-year total return: 19.49%
Topping our ranking is manager duo Feltus and Wright who have been running their US high yield fund since 2007. Boston-based Feltus is also director of high yield and bank loans at Pioneer Investments.
According to the manager commentary, the Pioneer US High Yield holds portfolio overweights to asset-rich industries such as health care, and those with strong free-cash-flow-generating capabilities such as technology.
As of March 31, 2016, the portfolio was underweight the high yield index’s energy exposure.