Fidelity, Mercer and Pioneer top multi-asset tables

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Multi-asset funds offer investors a pick’n’mix

Fidelity’s Global Multi-Asset Income is the best-performing fund in a ranking of 119 sterling-denominated multi-asset and absolute-return funds compiled by FN using FE Analytics data for the last three years.

Its sterling share class has made 13.9% a year, annualised, during the three years to December 16. Fidelity confirmed the figure.

The Fidelity fund, managed by Eugene Philalithis and Nick Peters, invests primarily in bonds and equities, including emerging markets, infrastructure equities and real estate investment trusts.

The second-best performer in the list is the diversified growth fund run by the fund management arm of Mercer. The £2.3 billion fund invests globally, but its currency exposure is hedged back to pounds sterling; it has made 12.5% a year annualised for the three years to December 16.

Roger Breeden, a partner and investment leader for Mercer’s Workplace Savings division, put the three-year figure at 12.8%, using figures from Thomson Reuters Datastream.

The Diversifed Growth fund forms a core part of Mercer’s fiduciary management operation, and the firm says in fund documentation that its investment strategy is taken from its consultants’ “best ideas” on asset allocation.

Mercer did not respond to request for comment in time for publication.

Third place is taken by Pioneer Investments’ Flexible Opportunities fund, a multi-asset fund run by Michele Garau. Its sterling share class has made 12.3% a year over the period.

Pioneer Investments has had a tough couple of years, thanks to continuous uncertainty over its ownership by Italian banking group UniCredit.

Pioneer could not be reached for comment.

The French asset manager Amundi agreed to buy the firm in early December; rationalisations are possible during 2017 but Pioneer’s multi-asset franchise is one of the areas earmarked for growth and development, Amundi has said.

Three-year performance for the top 10 funds in FN’s multi-asset peer group varied from 13.9% to 8.2% a year.

Among the top performers, the multi-asset fund run by H2O Asset Management, the London boutique founded by former Amundi UK chief executive Bruno Crastes, came in fourth, and seventh place went to Aberdeen Asset Management’s new multi-asset fund, run by Mike Brooks, formerly of Baillie Gifford.

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