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3 big-hitting fund managers you can't afford to ignore

We look at three fund managers who've proved their mettle during a tumultuous 2011.

by Jonathan Miller, Frank Talbot on Dec 16, 2011 at 09:21

With the UK teetering on the brink of a return to recesssion, Chinese growth slowing and the eurozone still stumbling through the fog of its debt crisis, 2012 looks set to be another tough year for the markets. In times like this, the brightest and best fund managers have the chance to show what makes them stand out from the rest. Here's our pick of three superstar managers, as chosen by the Citywire Selection team.

Neil Woodford

Neil Woodford has taken a lot of flack for his bearish stance since the start of the crisis in 2008, missing out on the spoils of the recovery in 2009. However, just as before, Woodford has proved the man to turn to during a crisis.

His performance in the second half of this year is impressive for a man who controls a hefty portfolio. His key bets in healthcare and consumer goods have been as resilient as equities can be. Woodford’s Invesco Perpetual High Income fund has delivered 4.9% over the year to 30 November, compared with 3.5% from its FTSE 350 Higher Yield TR benchmark.

Sebastian Lyon

Despite heightened volatility, Sebastian Lyon is on course to deliver a 10th-consecutive calendar year of positive returns on the Troy Trojan fund. A star pick in Citywire Selection, Lyon’s multi-asset portfolio is defensive: nearly 20% in cash, 27% in index-linked bonds and 16% in physical gold and gold shares. All have performed robustly in the year to date.

Lyon is highly sceptical about the recent positive reaction to the central bank's action to prop up the markets. ‘More debt is not the answer,’ he said. His fund has delivered 8.6% over the year to 30 November, compared with the 0.8% loss of the FTSE Apcims/Balanced TR.

Mike Amey

Gilts have been one of the surprise asset classes of the year. Much of the investment world was not prepared to touch what to many has become the most expensive asset class in the world. As the flight to safety has continued, one manager, Mike Amey, has stood out.

He has consistently beaten rival funds, and although you need a very bleak outlook to invest in this asset class at the moment, he has made good use of derivatives to protect performance. Amey’s Allianz Pimco Gilt Yield fund has delivered 14.8% in the year to 30 November, compared with 13.6% from its benchmark, the FTSE A British Govt All Stocks TR.

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Look up the funds

  • Allianz PIMCO Gilt Yield A Inc
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  • Invesco Perpetual High Income Inc
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  • Trojan Income O Acc
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Look up the fund managers

  • Mike Amey
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  • Neil Woodford
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  • Sebastian Lyon
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