By Leo Bland Swiss Life has the best performing balanced pension fund for the 12 months to the end ...
By Leo Bland
Swiss Life has the best performing balanced pension fund for the 12 months to the end of September, according to a survey by HSBC Actuaries and Consultants.
The group's Image survey of balanced pooled pension funds found that Swiss Life's fund posted a return of 25.4% for the year to the end of September compared with a sector average of 13.9%.
Other groups in the top five over one year for balanced pooled pension fund performance include Tilney, whose fund posted a return of 22.5% and Clerical Medical with a return of 20.8%. Scudder Threadneedle's balanced pooled pension fund produced returns of 20.5% over the 12 months to the end of September.
Over three months, Royal London Asset Management is the top performer for balanced pooled pension funds, with a return of 1.1%.
This is followed by Scottish Life, whose balanced pension fund returned 0.9% over the same time period and Royal Life which saw growth of 0.9% as well.
The top five over three months also includes Edinburgh Fund Managers and HSBC Asset Management which saw returns of 0.8% and 0.6% respectively in their balanced pension portfolios.
Adrian Herring, senior investment consultant at HSBC Actuaries and Consultants, said: "This was one of the strangest quarters for some time, with equity markets favouring neither growth nor value managers, in a period of relative weakness for equity markets, particularly Europe and the Far East.
"In fact, it was a group of relatively middle of the road fund managers that rose to the top of the three month tables, headed by Royal London Asset Management whose fund had only been launched in June."
The worst performing group over one year in terms of balanced pension funds is Phillips & Drew which saw growth of 6.6% in its fund over that period.
Britannic was second bottom on growth of 8.6% while Prudential was also in the bottom five on growth of 9.4% over the same time period. Phillips & Drew is also in the bottom five over three months on a fall of 1.7%.
Phillips & Drew is best known for its decision to increase cash weightings over the past few years ahead of the anticipated fall in what it sees as overvalued world equity markets. These results suggest that short term performance is continuing to suffer in current market conditions. The worst performing group over the three months to the end of September is Newton which saw a fall of 3.1% in its balanced pooled pension fund while Baillie Gifford was also in the bottom five, seeing a fall of 1.7% in its fund over the same time period.
HSBC Actuaries and Consultants said that Newton's performance appears to have suffered from its larger than average position in overseas equities, particularly its Far Eastern exposure.
The group was also hit by the weakness of the telecoms, media and technology sectors.
Guy Bowles, institutional marketing director at Newton, said that the group believes that these sectors will continue to rally from their current levels and that Newton will be maintaining its exposure to this area of the market.
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