e-fundresearch: Which benchmark do you adhere to?
Goyé: The fund’s benchmark is the S&P 500.
e-fundresearch: Are you also responsible for other funds at the moment?
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Goyé: I am responsible for the various funds and dedicated accounts managed in accordance with BNPP AM’s US Core Growth strategy. As a matter of fact I manage a model portfolio which is then replicated throughout the different funds and accounts (among which Parvest USA). This allows me to fully concentrate on investment decisions while delegating within a strict framework the responsibility of implementation to the team’s portfolio assistant.
In addition, I’m the Head of BNP Paribas Asset Management International Equity Investments department and as such I supervise the management of different non-European equity funds and I’m more directly involved in the management of Japanese equities.
e-fundresearch: What is the total volume that you manage in all your funds?
Goyé: As of end of August, the total assets managed under the US Core Growth strategy amounted to USD 7.3 billions. The assets managed within the International Equity Investments team totalled USD 9.5 billions
e-fundresearch: Regarding the performance: which performance did you achieve since the beginning of the year and in the years 2003-2008? Absolutely and relatively to the relevant benchmark?
Goyé: Since the beginning of 2009 Parvest USA achieved a performance (net of fees -classic shares) close to 22% beating the S&P 500 by over 7.5%. The fund outperforms its benchmark over the past five years as a result of a combination of a very strong performance achieved in 2003, 2005 and 2007 (which are among the best performance years of the fund) and a couple of years (2006 and 2008) which are two out of the three exceptional occasions when the fund has significantly underperformed the benchmark over 13 years of history.
Over the long term the Parvest USA has demonstrated its ability to outperformed in multiple types of environments, ranging from bear markets (eg 2000, 2001) to trendless periods (eg 2005, 2007) and sharp rallies (eg 1997, 2003). Despite its Core Growth style, Parvest USA has also achieved strong results in Value environments (such as 2000-2006), thanks to the model’s ability to modulate the strength of its Growth bias when Value style prevails in he market.
e-fundresearch: How content are you with your own performance in the last years and this year?
Goyé: I’m very satisfied with the performance achieved so far in 2009 particularly because it has enabled us to reward investors who trusted us during the 2008 downturn and prove once again that discipline eventually pays off. As for the past years, I’m reasonably content with the results achieved because (even if we didn’t managed to outperform every single year as I would have liked to) we did manage to limit the periods and magnitude of underperformance while keeping our active management of the fund…. which has ultimately always resulted in a rebound that has more than offset any previous weakness in the fund.
e-fundresearch: How are you able to deliver added value for your investors with your performance?
Goyé: The US market is the largest and most efficient market in the world and therefore one of the most difficult to beat. In spite of that, we have been able to deliver a consistent outperfomance over the medium to long term thanks to a highly disciplined approach, combining the structuring advantages of an in house-developed quantitative model with the adaptability and flexibility of human experience. Our robust investment process is key to ensure that we continuously deliver above benchmark performance results
e-fundresearch: How long have you been a fund manager already?
Goyé: I have 15 years experience as fund manager.
e-fundresearch: What were your biggest successes and your biggest disappointments in your career as fund manager?
Goyé: On the success side, apart from achieving a reasonably good performance over time with most strategies managed in the International Equity Investments team, I am proud of the asset growth we achieved with such strategies: we had to overcome the skepticism of all those who thought that a European-based asset manager could not reach international recognition on markets such as US or Japanese equities, but we managed to turn our model-driven strategies into some of the company´s most successful products.
As for disappointments, the sentiment that investors would significantly enhance their performance if we managed to make them share our definition of what "long-term" means is sometimes very frustrating.
e-fundresearch: What kind of capital market situation do we have at the moment? How do you act in this environment?
Goyé: We have a market which is clearly driven by optimism…The proactive measures put in place by the US authorities and the strong discipline adopted by US corporations have fuelled a strong sentiment that the crisis was left behind. However, it is important to realise that fundamentals, although favourably oriented, remain still fragile in the near term. Markets are therefore poised to remain erratic in the short term (as investors easily swing from optimism to disappointment). This is why it is key to maintain our medium to long term fundamental focus and stick to our disciplined approach (even if this might result in higher volatility over short term periods). We share the view that recovery is well under way and therefore we have started to gradually increase the portfolio’s sensitiveness to the economy from the first quarter. However, at the current market level, a correction may be expected and we do not think the outlook is so bright to justify a shift to a very aggressive stance.
e-fundresearch: What are the special challenges in this environment?
Goyé: I think one of the major challenges in this environment is to avoid being influenced by investors’ emotional reactions which tend to dominate during turning points of the cycle, particularly after such an unprecedented crisis and when the outlook is still relatively uncertain in the short term. In this environment, we know it is extremely difficult to have the right timing to match the market’s short term movements therefore we deliberately build a portfolio for a longer-term horizon and expect this to prove as fruitful as it has always been in the past.
e-fundresearch: What objectives do you have till the end of the year and in the mid term for the upcoming 3 to 5 years?
Goyé: My objective for the months to come is to continue to slightly adjust the portfolio in order to preserve and even reinforce the strong outperfomance achieved since the beginning of the year. Longer term, I would like to enhance the strategy with the launch of an upgraded version of our US quantitative model (planned for next year) as well as our Japanese model…but my objective is also to develop quantitative models for other equity markets in the world. This should enable us to extend the success of our existing US and Japanese Model-driven products to other major markets.
e-fundresearch: Do you model yourself on someone? Any ideals?
Goyé: My model is not a single person, but rather a mix of the points I admire the most in a variety of persons. In the end, my ideal remains what Rudyard Kipling described in his poem "If".
e-fundresearch: What motivates you in your job?
Goyé: There is no monotony. As a fund manager, I study diverse companies in changing economic and market conditions. As Head of the International Equity Investments group, I manage a team where multiple activities, 14 different nationalities and very diverse backgrounds are represented. I also like the permanent challenge of knowing that it is much easier to damage a track-record than to rebuild it.
e-fundresearch: What else do you want to achieve or do you have any further aims as a fund manager?
Goyé: For each of the markets we cover, the ultimate achievement would be to convince some of the largest, most demanding local institutions to trust us for the management of their domestic market. On US equities, for example, we already manage for one of the largest international institutions, we also have a few American customers, but we are still missing Calpers. Maybe, if they read this interview, ...
e-fundresearch: What other profession would you have taken interest in, apart from becoming a fund manager?
Goyé: I could have been a lawyer (I like to analyse, build and deliver closely argued points) or a car racing driver (I hate speed limits!)
e-fundresearch: Thank you for the interview!