More than half of global active managers have outperformed the benchmark over the last 12 months, with a large proportion recording an average return of 18.9 per cent, says Zenith.
According to the Zenith Partners 2015 Global Equity Sector Review, performance for the MSCI World Index ex-Australia was 18.9 per cent for the 12 months ending 30 September 2015, and 24.2 per cent for the three years ending 30 September 2015.
Zenith global equity sector lead analyst Quan Nguyen noted that active global equity managers have led the way when it comes to performance in 2015.
The report indicated that 55 per cent of active managers outperformed the index in 2015.
Mr Nguyen said one of the reasons why active managers performed strongly over the last 12 months is due to the level of performance dispersion evident in markets, both in a geographic and sector context.
“Greater performance dispersion has meant there have been greater opportunities for active managers to add value through stock selection and portfolio construction, and active managers have taken advantage of the situation,” Mr Nguyen said.
“Although the majority of actively managed funds employ a bottom-up stock selection approach, the key to outperformance has been making the right calls in certain geographies and sectors.
“Namely: being overweight North America relative to the rest of the world, overweight developed markets relative to emerging markets, and overweight in the consumer, information technology, and healthcare sectors relative to the energy and materials sectors,” he said.
Mr Nguyen argued that while growth strategies have more recently outperformed value-based strategies, a mix of both approaches will be required going forward.
“Clearly, certain market cycles are going to be more conducive to growth over value, and vice versa, so investors should not underestimate the importance of blending both styles to achieve a more balanced and consistent set of outcomes.”
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