Randeep Somel has revealed his plan to steer the M&G Global Basics fund back to the top of the performance tables, telling investors "no-one else does this kind of portfolio".
Harwood multi-manager Richard Philbin said yesterday the fund's style, focusing on the global brands that form the "building blocks of the world economy", is relatively distinct in its approach.
In recent years, however, French's fund has fallen out of favour, although whether that is due to his process or simply individual stock picking is up for debate.
Here Investment Week looks at three other global equity funds, each of which has performed well in recent years, and the stocks those managers find attractive at the moment.
Run by Dylan Ball, Peter Moeschter and Heather Arnold, Templeton Growth is a value portfolio run on the same basis as the flagship US-domiciled fund of the same name, set up by Sir John Templeton in 1954.
With value starting to come back into favour this year, the fund has performed well, returning 34.4% over one year compared with a 22.9% return for the IMA Global sector.
"Value has been pretty late in this cycle, and that is the opportunity," said Ball, who has been buying best-of-breed financials within the portfolio.
These include Lloyds, a top ten holding, though the manager acknowledged investors may now be witnessing "the final 20% of gains" in the stock.
Other plays to have benefited the fund recently include British Airways' parent International Consolidated Airlines, up some 92% year-to-date.
Ball is much warier of the emerging market story than some of his peers, saying he needs "valuations to be on our side" before he will consider a return to the region.
Artemis Global Growth
By contrast, Peter Saacke, manager of the Artemis Global Growth fund, has 11% of his portfolio in China alone, with a further 3% in Hong Kong.
The manager, whose fund is top quartile in the IMA Global sector over one and three years, sees the reforms emerging from this week's Third Plenum as a catalyst for such holdings.
"Chinese stocks have largely been shunned by investors. As a result, many Chinese stocks had become cheap on both an absolute and relative basis. Meanwhile, corporate newsflow had begun to improve again this year," he said.
Saacke owns Chinese bank ICBC, trading on a P/E of just 5.3 times and a price to book ratio of 1, as well as the likes of China Oilfield Services. The latter is on a P/E of 12 but 2014 earnings forecasts have been upgraded by 20% in the past six months, Saacke noted.
Elsewhere, the manager has cut back on his energy exposure. But mining is now one of the fund's largest sector overweights, valuations in the likes of India's NMDC and US peer Freeport-McMoran having become "appealing" once more.
Threadneedle Global Extended Alpha
A long/short portfolio of global stocks, Extended Alpha is run by ex-Martin Currie manager Neil Robson and is top quartile over one, three and five years, though it remains small in size at £20m.
Robson is less convinced than many of his peers by the attractions of rotating out of the US into Europe, saying he "does not see a big difference in pricing" between the two regions.
"Europe is cheap in three regions compared to the US: utilities, for which there are good reasons economically; telecoms, where you could make the argument US profitability is peaking; and banks. We are 100% convinced of capital adequacy in the US, but not so in Europe."
On a sector basis, Robson has increasingly been looking at areas like global asset management, with US giant Blackstone among his top performers over the past 18 months.
On the short side, having closed out last year's successes such as Nokia, Robson is now shorting what he calls a "fairly large-cap name in the US" where he anticipates a "potential bankruptcy".
Three years at Wells Fargo
Effective from 9 December 2019
One firm with permission suspensions left
Continuing the Architas education series for clients.
Needs to apply for authorisation