Each month RealAdviser asks a panel of fund selectors to give their verdict on a company's fund range. This month Jupiter gets the once-over
Mark Harries, head of multi-manager products at Cazenove
We are invested in the Jupiter Undervalued Assets fund managed by Edward Bonham-Carter, who is also joint chief executive and chief investment officer of Jupiter. He took over responsibility for this fund from Adrian Paterson in January 2001 and is a highly experienced and capable manager with over twenty years' investment experience and an excellent track record.
Bonham-Carter's approach to investing in stocks can be described as pragmatic, value based, bottom-up stockpicking which results in the fund usually having a mid/small-cap bias. He pays little attention to the index. Bonham-Carter is supported by a team of 15 high-quality individuals including experienced managers such as Paul Sheehan, Ian McVeigh and Tony Nutt.
We like the fact that the manager has a reasonable amount of his own money in the fund and that he does not like to lose money. His ability to protect the portfolio in falling markets has been a significant contributor to the strong performance of the fund in the last few years. Bonham-Carter is primarily looking for companies with the ability to offer genuine growth that have strong track records, good cash flow, high barriers to entry and a quality management team. While looking for those companies which exhibit these characteristics and which he deems the market to have undervalued, he is also concerned, certainly in the current market conditions, at looking for a strong and sustainable dividend.
The portfolio is usually well diversified with around 100 stocks, the top 10 holdings making up less than 35% of the fund and the turnover is low. Stocks in the fund tend to be held for three to four years as Bonham-Carter does not feels he is good at trading. The Fund is AAA rated by Standard & Poor's Fund Research.
Bambos Hambi, Head of multi-manager at Gartmore
We feel Jupiter's key strength lies in its Pan European presence, both in terms of the managers and the process. The European team is especially strong. The likes of Alex Darwall, whose European fund is approaching one billion and Leon Howard-Spink have both managed the market well. The Emerging European Opportunities Fund, run by Elena Shaftan, has also been successful and she has a very good reputation.
The group is very resilient. Despite the fallout from Duffield leaving and taking staff with him, the group keeps going. It also has six short-listed funds for the Investment Week awards - the most for any one group.
Much of the credit has to go to Edward Bonham-Carter, who in addition to running the company also manages money. He sets standards in the UK, showing managers that if he can outperform while being both the joint chief executive and chief investment officer of the group, then the other managers should do the same. We also like the management styles of Anthony Nutt, Ian McVeigh and Philip Gibbs.
The group is also keen not to benchmark, which we like a lot. The one weakness Jupiter may have is in terms of the rest of the world, but the appointment of Simon Somerville to the Far East Fund recently shows the group is keen to appoint sound managers across the board. Jupiter has quality people, who are not benchmark constrained and do lots of worthwhile research.
Rob Burdett, Co-Head of Credit Suisse Multi-Manager Services
Jupiter's fund range is comprehensive, but it is best in the Pan-European regions. It appears to be geared primarily to the UK IFA who tends to invest in these sectors.
We are currently invested in Financial Opportunities and the European Special Situations Fund. The Financial fund has been held for Philip Gibbs' ability to judge sentiment in the stock market and subsequently fill his portfolio with stocks that will match that sentiment and benefit from it. He has a strong desire to be the best fund whatever the sector. Leon Howard-Spink has come of age with the European Special Situations fund he inherited from the hugely talented Richard Pease. It is to his credit that he has risen to this challenge and kept the fund firmly in the top decile.
The environment for fund managers at Jupiter seems to provide a potent mix of freedom, self-determination and mutual respect. The very limited departure of staff suggest this type of environment suits the type of managers at Jupiter. There is a focus on real returns for investors.
Ben Yearsley, Investment Manager, Hargreaves Lansdown
As a group it has no specifically designed process, it's a case of a group of extremely talented managers doing their own thing in the market. It has a set of quality managers in the likes of Anthony Nutt, Edward Bonham-Carter, Ian McVeigh, Leon Howard-Spink and Philip Gibbs who consistently outperform the market.
Its fund range, like its managers is also very strong. We hold a few of its funds, including the Income Fund, High Income Fund, Undervalued Assets, European Special Situations and the Financial Opportunities Fund. For us to hold so many of its funds is proof in our eyes that what it is offering is a quality, well-run operation.
Richard Philbin, head of F&C Multi-Manager
We hold both the Jupiter Emerging European Opportunities Fund and the Financial Opportunities Fund. As a group we feel it has very good, decisive managers, who are allowed the freedom and responsibility to run funds that are not restricted by committee or benchmark. Jupiter generally has good performance across the board.
Only one or two funds, like the Far East (Asia ex-Japan) and Global Technology have underperformed. I am not a great fan of the European Special Situations Fund in terms of performance. But generally it is good across the range, including multi-manager.
In Philip Gibbs, manager of the Financial Opportunities Fund, the group has one of the best managers the industry may have ever seen. Anthony Nutt also took over a very hard job (the Income Fund) from William Littlewood in May 2000 and has done well on the fund. There is also Edward Bonham-Carter who is not only a CEO but also manages money and manages it well.
It also has a good collegiate, professional atmosphere and our "traffic light analysis" showed lots of green lights on its funds.
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