e-fundresearch: Which benchmark do you adhere to?
Riégis: We adhere to the HSBC European Smaller Companies index, Total Return, only as an indicator.
e-fundresearch: Are you also responsible for other funds at the moment?
Riégis: At the moment my team and I are also responsible for 2 open-ended funds named Oddo Avenir and Oddo Avenir Euro, as well as for 4 dedicated funds and 4 mandates.
I have been also co-manager since 2004 of a flexible open-ended fund, Oddo Pro-Actif Europe, invested in equity or cash.
e-fundresearch: What is the total volume that you manage in all your funds?
Riégis: The total volume managed in our small and mid cap funds amounts to €1940 million at the end of September 2010.
The flexible fund has €150 M under management at end of September 2010.
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?
Riégis: As of end of September 2010, since the beginning of the year Oddo Avenir Europe outperforms its benchmark (+15.4% for Oddo Avenir Europe vs. +13.3% for its benchmark).
From 12/31/2002 to 12/31/2008 Oddo Avenir Europe also outperformed its benchmark with an excess return of 42.7% (+84.1% for Oddo Avenir Europe vs. +41.4% for its benchmark).
For what concerns annualized performances Oddo Avenir Europe outperformed its benchmark (+10.69% for Oddo Avenir Europe vs. +6.10% for its benchmark).
Since the take over of the fund by the small and mid cap management team (01/01/2004), Oddo Avenir Europe increased by +129.2% when its benchmark increased by +85.1% (excess return of +44.1%).
e-fundresearch: How content are you with your own performance in the last years and this year?
Riégis: Our mission is to outperform regularly the equity market. The achieved performance demonstrates the robustness of our philosophy and process.
e-fundresearch: How are you able to deliver added value for your investors with your performance?
Riégis: Our small and mid cap equity management is a real active management that relies on stock-picking and fundamental analysis.
We are able to deliver added value to our investors thanks to our investment philosophy and process, leading to a fairly concentrated and highly selective list of companies to make up our portfolio.
Our investment philosophy can be described in 7 key points:
- We invest only in Small & Mid Caps: already structured companies, with leadership position on their market, billion euros market capitalisations (weighted average market cap of Oddo Avenir Europe around €3.9 billion as of 09/30/2010).
- We invest in value creators on the whole cycle: self-financing growth, preserved profitability and self-financing even in recession times, whatever the sector.
- We invest in international companies: tomorrow’s global leaders, capturing growth where it is.
- We aim at a controlled level of volatility with a good risk/return ratio and risk diversification (no more than 6% on one position)
- We have no style bias, nor thematic bias (cyclical vs non cyclicals), but a structural underweighting of non-value creator sectors and/or purely domestic or regulated businesses versus a structural overweighting on sectors with numerous attractive investment opportunities.
- We favour a collective investment decision in order to avoid individual appreciation bias and mistakes, and if any to limit capital loss risk.
- One team, one mission: a stable management team with high team spirit, united for the past 7 years; one mission, our client capital growth over the time.
e-fundresearch: How long have you been a fund manager already?
Riégis: I have been a fund manager for 7 years since I was given the charge of small and mid cap equity management in July 2003.
e-fundresearch: What were your biggest successes and your biggest disappointments in your career as fund manager?
Riégis: We do not necessarily look for ten baggers but we also tend to avoid very big mistakes. Our performance is driven by our investment in outstanding companies offering an attractive risk / reward profile at the investment time and a strict sell discipline when target price is reached.
e-fundresearch: What kind of capital market situation do we have at the moment? How do you act in this environment?
Riégis: We do not make macro-bets and we do not manage actively the cash position. We are 90% invested, with a neutral balance between cyclicals and non cyclicals, whatever the market conditions are.
e-fundresearch: What are the special challenges in this environment?
Riégis: The challenge is to find companies that will be able to face the new challenges of the beginning of this 21st century.
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?
Riégis: Our objectives are always relative to the equity market. We believe that investing in outstanding companies at a good price will enable us to go on outperforming the market by a few percentage points a year in the mid term.
e-fundresearch: Do you model yourself on someone? Any ideals?
Riégis: In the business, Warren Buffet is a reference.
e-fundresearch: What motivates you in your job?
Riégis: To beat the market and to grow the capital of our clients.
e-fundresearch: What else do you want to achieve or do you have any further aims as a fund manager?
Riégis: To become myself a reference in this business.
e-fundresearch: What other profession would you have taken interest in, apart from becoming a fund manager?
Riégis: Except from being a sailor (I am sea sick), I could have developed a passion for many ground activities !
e-fundresearch: Thank you for the interview!