e-fundresearch.com: Mr. Matt Benkendorf, you are the fund manager of the Vontobel Fund – US Value Equity (B) (ISIN: LU0035765741" href="/">LU0035765741). When did you take over the responsibility of managing this fund?
Matt Benkendorf: I began managing the Fund in November 2010. My co-manager, Edwin Walczak, has been managing the portfolio since its inception in 1991.
e-fundresearch.com: What is the current size of the fund?
Matt Benkendorf: As of March 31, 2013, US$1.1 billion.
e-fundresearch.com: Do you also manage other funds or mandates?
Matt Benkendorf: Yes, in addition to Lead Portfolio Manager for U.S. Equity, I am Co-Portfolio Manager for Global Equity and European Equity.
e-fundresearch.com: What is the total amount of assets you manage currently?
Matt Benkendorf: As a team, we manage $41.7 billion as of March 31, 2013.
e-fundresearch.com: How long have you been in the business as a fund manager?
Matt Benkendorf: As a portfolio manager, seven years. I joined Vontobel Asset Management, Inc. in 1999. After holding positions in securities operations and equity trading, I joined the investment team as an analyst in 2002 covering consumer discretionary, health care and industrial stocks. In 2006, I took on my first portfolio management responsibility as Co-Portfolio Manager for European Equity.
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?
Matt Benkendorf: Our investment philosophy is based on the conviction that long-term, stable and superior earnings growth drives long-term investment returns and risk-adjusted out-performance. By identifying sensibly priced high quality companies that can grow earnings faster than the market on a sustainable basis, we believe we will be able to achieve superior returns for our clients. We build conviction-led, concentrated portfolios that are designed to participate in a rising market and protect capital during declining markets.
We passionately believe we have a distinctive and disciplined approach to managing unconstrained equities which can deliver superior returns to our clients through the full market cycle. Our investment discipline and consistency, as well as the trust and patience of our clients, are key advantages of our portfolio management style.
e-fundresearch.com: Which benchmark is most relevant and how should investors compare the fund vs. benchmarks or peer groups?
Matt Benkendorf: The Fund’s benchmark is the S&P 500 Index; however, we are benchmark-unconstrained managers. Our main objective is to preserve capital for our clients and to compound returns at a high single to low double-digit rate over time. With this as our focus, we expect to outperform over a full market cycle.
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?
Matt Benkendorf: The below performance pertains to the Vontobel Fund – US Value Equity, B share class, net of fees.
|YTD to 03/31/2013||2012||2011||2010||2009||2008|
Important legal information: This document is for information purposes only and does not constitute an offer to subscribe for shares of the Fund. Subscriptions of the Vontobel Fund, an investment fund under Luxembourg law (SICAV), should in any event be made solely on the basis of the current offering prospectus, the Key Investor Information Document (KIID), the articles of incorporation and the most recent annual or semi-annual report (for Italy also the "Modulo di Sottoscrizione") and after seeking the advice of an independent finance, legal, accounting and tax specialist. For more details regarding the potential risks of this Fund, please refer to the current full prospectus. Interested parties may obtain the above-mentioned documents, as well as the list of changes in portfolio during the year and the list of benchmarks free of charge from the representative in Switzerland: Vontobel Fonds Services AG, Gotthardstrasse 43, 8022 Zurich, the paying agent in Switzerland: Bank Vontobel AG, Gotthardstrasse 43, 8022 Zurich, the paying agent in Austria Bank Vontobel Österreich AG, Rathausplatz 4, 5020 Salzburg, the paying agent in Germany: B. Metzler seel. Sohn & Co. KGaA, Grosse Gallusstrasse 18, 60311 Frankfurt/Main, from the authorized distribution agencies and from the offices of the fund at 69, route d’Esch, L-1470 Luxembourg. They may also download these documents from our website at funds.vontobel.com. The Fund and its subfunds are included in the register of Netherland's Authority for the Financial Markets as mentioned in article 1:107 of the Financial Markets Supervision Act (Wet op het financiële toezicht). In Spain, funds authorized for distribution are recorded in the register of foreign collective investment companies maintained by the Spanish CNMV (under number 280). The funds authorized for distribution in the United Kingdom can be viewed in the FSA register under the Scheme Reference Number 466625. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of current or future performance. Performance data take no account of the commissions and costs charged when units are issued and redeemed. The return of the Fund may go down as well as up due to changes in rates of exchange between currencies.
e-fundresearch.com: What motivates you in your job?
Matt Benkendorf: The primary driver of my motivation is the passion for the work I do. I love to pick stocks, and I am doing exactly what I always wanted to do.
e-fundresearch.com: Which other profession would you have considered apart from becoming a fund manager?
Matt Benkendorf: I have a genuine passion for my work. This is what I have always wanted to do. Investment research and stock picking is the direction in which I had always seen myself headed.
e-fundresearch.com: Many Thanks!