e-fundresearch.com: Mr. Michael Levy, you are the fund manager of the Baring Frontier Markets Fund (ISIN: IE00B8BVS817). When did you take over the responsibility of managing this fund?
Michael Levy: Since Fund Inception in April 2013
e-fundresearch.com: What is the current size of the fund?
Michael Levy: US$ 22.3 million (31st May 2013)
e-fundresearch.com: Do you also manage other funds or mandates?
Michael Levy: Yes, I also manage the Baring Russia Fund (ISIN LU0073418229)
e-fundresearch.com: What is the total amount of assets you manage currently?
Michael Levy: US$ 154.3m directly, but I am also backup manager for the Barings MENA Fund and part of the EMEA team which has a large asset pool.
e-fundresearch.com: How long have you been in the business as a fund manager?
Michael Levy: I started my career with Alliance Capital, subsequently renamed Alliance Bernstein in 1995 and became a Fund manager in 1998. I was responsible for a variety of international, emerging market and speciality equity products during my career at Alliance Bernstein. I joined Barings in 2012.
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?
Michael Levy: At Barings we have a disciplined 4 stage investment process. Risk and returns in the Frontier Market portfolio is primarily driven by stock selection. We undertake detailed fundamental bottom up research on the companies we invest in and look to buy companies that display GARP (growth at a reasonable price) characteristics, have strong management teams and sustainable competitive advantages that are not fully recognized by the market.
e-fundresearch.com: Which benchmark is most relevant and how should investors compare the fund vs. benchmarks or peer groups?
Michael Levy: The Fund’s benchmark is the MSCI Frontier Markets index. Whilst we look to add alpha to our client portfolios when compared with the benchmark, we also look to be a top quartile performer when compared to peer managers within the Fund’s category.
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?
Michael Levy: The Fund was recently launched so we do not have a performance history. Please refer to our MENA and Asian Frontier’s Fund performance history as a proof statement of our capabilities within the Frontier markets equity space.
e-fundresearch.com: What motivates you in your job?
Michael Levy: Within the Fund management industry there are always new things to learn and new challenges to assimilate within client portfolios. The complexity and variety within Frontier Markets means that opportunities to generate alpha for client portfolios are significant. Frontier Markets are an ideal place for a portfolio manager to execute actively managed strategies.
e-fundresearch.com: Which other profession would you have considered apart from becoming a fund manager?
Michael Levy: I was always interested in managing money; so I could realize a “dream”.
e-fundresearch.com: Many Thanks!