e-fundresearch.com: Mr James Tomlins, you are the fund manager of the M&G European High Yield Bond Fund (ISIN: GB0031288243). When did you take over the responsibility of managing this fund?
James Tomlins: I was appointed manager of the fund in 2011.
e-fundresearch.com: What is the current size of the fund?
James Tomlins: €107.7 million, as at 22 March 2013.
e-fundresearch.com: How long have you been in the business as a fund manager?
James Tomlins: I joined M&G in 2011 and was appointed fund manager of the M&G European High Yield Corporate Bond Fund later that year. Previously, I was a specialist in high yield credit with 10 years’ experience in this sector and a fund manager at Cazenove Capital Management.
e-fundresearch.com: What are the main steps in your investment process and in which area is your competitive edge to add value to investors?
James Tomlins: The fund focuses on ongoing proprietary research rather than relying on external credit ratings. Emphasis is placed on investigating the ability of a company or government to meet its interest payments, especially during unfavourable economic conditions. Credit risk is constantly monitored and typically spread across a variety of countries and industrial sectors. The fund’s exposure to higher yielding debt instruments may be gained through the use of derivatives. There is exposure to European currencies (mainly the euro) in this fund, and fluctuations in the exchange rates of these currencies against sterling are likely to play a significant role in determining total returns for UK-based investors.
e-fundresearch.com: Which benchmark is most relevant and how should investors compare the fund vs. benchmarks or peer groups?
James Tomlins: We tend to look to the performance of the official Morningstar Europe High Yield Bond Sector peer group.
e-fundresearch.com: Which performance did you achieve for the fund YTD and over the past five calendar years in absolute terms and relative to relevant benchmark or other reference indices?
James Tomlins: As at the 22 March 2013, the fund has achieved 1.7% year to date and 10.4% over the last five years (Source: Morningstar Inc, price to price basis, gross income reinvested, based in euro). The fund is not managed according to a benchmark.
e-fundresearch.com: What motivates you in your job?
James Tomlins: Being a fund manager is a constant learning curve as there is always new things to think about, new ideas and new areas of the market to engage with. This means no two days are ever the same and results in a fascinating job!
e-fundresearch.com: Many Thanks!