Caspar Benz und Daniel Lenz, Fondsmanager, "Schroder European Small & Mid Cap Value Fund" (19.04.2011): "One of the most important factors for us is the company’s ability to create shareholder value. We look at valuation metrics such as price-to-earnings and price-to-book multiples, along with dividend yield. We believe high, sustainable dividends can offer good downside protection in falling markets, while also providing a nice add-on to total returns. Crucially, though, the quality of the business, the balance sheet and management will all have an influence on a company’s ability to generate and conserve shareholder value.
Essentially, we look for stable, diversified businesses, with low net debt-to-equity and little or no goodwill. Of equal importance, is the competitive structure of the business." Ivan Larsen, Fondsmanager, "Danske Invest Europe Small Cap A" (15.04.2011): "Value small cap is not that different from valuing other stocks. We do not see the current market as especially difficult in relation to small cap."
Philip Dicken, Head of European Smaller Companies, "Threadneedle Pan European Smaller Companies C1" & "Threadneedle European Smaller Companies C1" (20.04.2011): "The global economy is in recovery mode, allowing European companies in a range of industries to benefit from improving demand. Having cut costs aggressively during the downturn, many companies are now feeling the benefit of operational gearing going into the recovery. The market is trading at an attractive valuation relative to history and to other assets such as bonds. Corporate results have generally been better than expected. Cash flows are healthy and balance sheets are strong, yet cash balances are earning little. This suggests that earnings enhancing M&A activity is likely to be a feature. Within Europe, the divergence between strong and weak countries will increase but some of the prosperity from stronger economies such as Germany, with an increasingly robust GDP from well balanced expansion, will impact other economies. Despite tougher macroeconomic conditions, we are still finding companies even in the peripheral Eurozone which we believe are well positioned for growth given their exposure to overseas markets. These companies can benefit from Euro weakness through greater competitive strength, export-led growth and the higher value of repatriated profits. Price-to-earnings of small caps trade below long-term average. Price-to-book remain still at material discount despite strong anticipated margin recovery."
Fondsmanagerteam, "Oddo Avenir Europe A" (21.04.2011): "Da wir generell keine makroökonomischen Wetten eingehen, ist unser Investmentprozess von dem aktuellen Marktumfeld gelöst. Also stellt für uns nach wie vor der ROCE (Kapitalrendite) die wichtigste Kennzahl dar und entscheidend ist, dass die Rentabilität über 12% nach Steuern liegt, unabhängig von der Wirtschaftslage."
e-fundresearch: "Wie schätzen Sie die Marktentwicklung der europäischen Small/Midcap Unternehmen für die nächsten 6-12 Monate ein?"
Caspar Benz und Daniel Lenz, Fondsmanager, "Schroder European Small & Mid Cap Value Fund" (19.04.2011): "With Germany proving to be the powerhouse of the European recovery, companies there are benefiting from strong demand, business and consumer confidence and a supportive economic environment. Austria, in particular, is an under-researched market, where stocks are relatively cheap, which offers good exposure to demand in Eastern Europe – but without the associated risks of direct investment.
In terms of our sector exposure, we are increasingly finding good value opportunities among cyclical names, and have good exposure to the industrials and materials sectors. However, we are also finding opportunities in the financials space, particularly among insurers, and in more traditionally defensive sectors such as consumer staples. The technology sector is one area we are less enamoured with, primarily due to the lack of scope for sustainable dividend growth and because of the high growth expectations associated with this sector."
Ivan Larsen, Fondsmanager, "Danske Invest Europe Small Cap A" (15.04.2011): "This is always very difficult to answer – but in the next 12 month we would expect the market to do around 10% and our aim of course is to outperform that."
Philip Dicken, Head of European Smaller Companies, "Threadneedle Pan European Smaller Companies C1" & "Threadneedle European Smaller Companies C1" (20.04.2011): "After a period of outperformance, smaller companies are no longer trading at the same discount to their larger equivalents that was apparent two years ago; so on a relative valuation basis the case is not as compelling as it was. However, growth from smaller companies is likely to be strong in the foreseeable future, and we remain confident that our portfolio is well placed to perform well in absolute terms and also relative to the benchmark index."
Fondsmanagerteam, "Oddo Avenir Europe A" (21.04.2011): "Wir sind immer zu 90% investiert und unser Ziel ist es, den Markt outzuperformen unabhängig vom Markt, indem wir versuchen, die richtigen und qualitativ hochwertigen Unternehmen auszuwählen, die sich in jedem Marktzyklus behaupten können."
e-fundresearch: "Welche Elemente sind die wichtigsten in Ihrem Investmentprozess."
Caspar Benz und Daniel Lenz, Fondsmanager, "Schroder European Small & Mid Cap Value Fund" (19.04.2011): "We have adopted the same traditional, proven and consistent investment approach which was employed for the Swiss-domiciled fund. Our philosophy rests on four pillars: a clear focus on value and quality, a long-term investment horizon, diversification, and a portfolio construction approach which is unconstrained from a benchmark.
Our investment process is value-biased. However, our investment decisions are formed by our analysis of both value and quality characteristics.
Early in our investment process, when we are assessing our investment universe, we filter out stocks that we consider too small or illiquid as we would like to minimise the risk of the portfolio. Part of the investment process is a rigorous analysis of risk/return profiles. The portfolio consists of 70-100 stocks that are able to create and conserve value-per-share over the long term. The fund is managed unconstrained from benchmark."
Ivan Larsen, Fondsmanager, "Danske Invest Europe Small Cap A" (15.04.2011): "We have an active investment approach and the team believes that companies fulfilling a well-defined set of quality parameters will outperform their peers in the long term. The process follows a bottom up approach focusing on qualitative screenings, identifying positive changes in internal or external factors. The identified companies will be evaluated on a set of "quality" criteria. This "quality" assessment is the main criteria for going forward with an investment candidate. Next, investment candidates are monitored and analyzed with respect to delta and valuation. If all criteria are met, a risk profile will be constructed and the final portfolio weight is decided upon.
Our long term fundamental approach where we are looking for companies with strong delta and high quality is what makes us unique. We are looking for companies with a strong market position and pricing power, where the growth is there for a longer time. We are also looking for strong balance sheet and high cash flow generation. And last but not least we are faithful to our process also in situations where the market is going against us."
Philip Dicken, Head of European Smaller Companies, "Threadneedle Pan European Smaller Companies C1" & "Threadneedle European Smaller Companies C1" (20.04.2011): "The portfolio is driven by Threadneedle’s proven research and stock selection process and benefits from the idea generation capability of Threadneedle’s investment teams. A clear understanding of the macroeconomic and thematic background is a vital starting point for building the portfolio. These insights are gained from numerous sources including Threadneedle’s regular economic outlook meeting and investment themes meeting where a culture of challenge and debate ensures only the best ideas make it into a portfolio. Views from external economists and strategists help highlight those areas of the market likely to be a good source of stock opportunities. The portfolio is also monitored constantly by an independent risk team – a process aided by daily risk reports – to ensure that it is structured correctly and that any risks are known, are directionally desirable and are managed.
The fund manager uses a variety of analysis to assess the stocks including valuation tools, financial analysis and Porter’s Five Forces to ensure he targets quality companies with robust balance sheets and pricing power achieved through strong market positioning. Once the stock ideas have been thoroughly debated the Fund Manager is responsible for constructing a balanced portfolio, aware of the need to generate alpha from different themes balancing one stock with another. Over 500 face-to-face meetings with companies help to ensure a thorough understanding of performance drivers, leading to increased conviction. This fundamental, bottom-up approach leads to a focus on quality companies that are likely to outperform over the long term."
Fondsmanagerteam, "Oddo Avenir Europe A" (21.04.2011): "Die wichtigsten Elemente in unserem Investmentprozess für die Auswahl der Unternehmen im Portfolio sind eine hohe Kapitalrendite (ROCE) der Unternehmen in jeder Wirtschaftslage, eine gute Visibilität, vorhandene Eintrittsbarrieren, ein entscheidender Wettbewerbsvorteil, Risikodiversifikation und Qualität des Managements."
e-fundresearch: "Welche Über- und Untergewichtungen sind derzeit im Fonds umgesetzt?"
Caspar Benz und Daniel Lenz, Fondsmanager, "Schroder European Small & Mid Cap Value Fund" (19.04.2011): "For us, it is about allocating funds where we find the best investment opportunities, rather than limiting ourselves to investment in index constituents. We currently have a slight mid-cap bias, but there is still a strong small-cap contingent in the portfolio. The fund is also able to hold up to 10% in cash.
We have an important weight in the industrial, material, financial and energy sector and overweight the countries Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and Switzerland."
Ivan Larsen, Fondsmanager, "Danske Invest Europe Small Cap A" (15.04.2011): "Top five active over-weights
The benchmark consists of more than 1000 stocks, so we have no particularly under weights."
Philip Dicken, Head of European Smaller Companies, "Threadneedle Pan European Smaller Companies C1" & "Threadneedle European Smaller Companies C1" (20.04.2011): "In recent months we have taken profits in some of our holdings which were most successful over 2010 and which we believed had become less attractive on valuation grounds – Bekaert, the Belgian wires manufacturer was an example of this. In addition we have taken care to limit our exposure to consumer stocks outside the core Eurozone, selling Dominos Pizza UK and Ireland and Asos, the online retailer. Velti, the mobile marketing software business, we sold (realising a good profit) as the company is changing its listing to the US. We bought D’Ieteren, the Belgian business which owns Autoglass, and Kabel Deutschland, which we regard as offering defensive merits whilst it gives exposure to the German consumer sector."
Fondsmanagerteam, "Oddo Avenir Europe A" (21.04.2011): "Generell haben wir immer dieselbe Gewichtung an zyklischen und nicht-zyklischen Unternehmen wie unser Benchmark HSBC European Smaller Companies. Aber sektorenmässig haben wir eine systematische Untergewichtung im Bereich Financials, Utilities und Telekoms und eine systematische Übergewichtung in Technologie- und Industriewerten."
e-fundresearch: "Bitte kommentieren Sie die Performance- und Risikokennzahlen Ihres Fonds im laufenden Jahr und in den letzten 3 bzw. 5 Jahren."
Caspar Benz und Daniel Lenz, Fondsmanager, "Schroder European Small & Mid Cap Value Fund" (19.04.2011): "The Schroder ISF European Small & Mid-Cap Value (A shares) achieved a return of 0.2 % in the first quarter 2011 (per end of March 2011). Since inception at the end of November 2010 the fund returned 10.2 % (per end of March 2011).
Beneficial to our performance was the positioning in the energy sector, the consumer discretionary sector and the financial sector. A negative impact on our portfolio came through the materials and industrial sector.
Historically, our Swiss-domiciled fund has offered excellent down-market protection – strongly outperforming in negative or flat markets – while also achieving above-average performance in rising markets. We would expect the same of this product going forward. The performance of the Swiss-domiciled Schroder European Small & Mid Cap Fund against its benchmark for the period 1 November 2003 until 31 December 2010 has more than doubled in 6 years (8.0% relative outperformance p.a.)."
Ivan Larsen, Fondsmanager, "Danske Invest Europe Small Cap A" (15.04.2011):
Philip Dicken, Head of European Smaller Companies, "Threadneedle Pan European Smaller Companies C1" & "Threadneedle European Smaller Companies C1" (20.04.2011): "The smaller European companies Funds investment process is designed to unearth high quality European smaller companies with superior business models that have the ability to generate above average returns. The Funds may fluctuate in value more than other Funds because of the greater volatility of share prices of smaller companies. As smaller companies have less capital, trading in their stock is often less liquid which can create greater volatility. Our sustained success and performance, through many cycles and difficult conditions, is the result of our investment philosophy and processes, which encourage sharing ideas and investment expertise across all desks. We believe that in every cycle there are opportunities, and working as a team is certainly a successful approach to identify market trends and opportunities across all asset classes. We also place a lot of importance in meeting companies before investing in them, which means we meet hundreds of companies’ senior management face-to-face every year. Pooling our investment expertise across all desks is what enables Threadneedle to out-think and out-perform the market and our competitors."
Fondsmanagerteam, "Oddo Avenir Europe A" (21.04.2011): "Hinweis: Alle folgenden Performance- und Risikokennzahlenangaben sind per Ende März 2011:
Wir haben generell eine niedrigere Volatilität und somit ein niedrigeres Risiko im Vergleich zum Markt: 13.57% auf 1 Jahr (Benchmark: 17.45%), 21.78% auf 3 Jahre (Benchmark: 26.06%), 19.83% auf 5 Jahre (Benchmark: 22.7%) Unser Fonds ist ein Low-Beta Fonds mit einem Beta von 0.73 auf 1 Jahr, 0.79 auf 3 Jahre und 0.82 auf 5 Jahre. Dies ist vor allem auf die hohe Qualität und hohe Rentabilität der Unternehmen im Portfolio zurückzuführen.
Unsere Performance YTD per Ende März betrug -0.7% und jene unseres Benchmarks 1.3%. Dies ist vor allem auf unsere strukturelle Untergewichtung an Financials zurückzuführen, die Beginn dieses Jahres sehr gut performt haben. Unsere Performance auf 3 Jahre beträgt insgesamt 25.6% (annualisiert: 7.9%) und jene unseres Benchmarks 10.5% (annualisiert: 3.4%). Unsere Performance auf 5 Jahre beträgt 29.6% (annualisiert: 5.3%) und jene unseres Benchmarks -0.4% (annualisiert: -0.1%). Anhand dieser Performancedaten sieht man, dass wir auf längere Sicht dank unserem Investmentprozess und Stockpicking-Know How eine hohe und langfristige Outperformance generieren aber kurzfristig weniger gut als der Markt performen können, da wir nicht auf makroökomische Wetten oder Trends setzen und unserer Investmentphilosophie treu bleiben."
Alle Daten per 11.04.2011: