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Informa Investment Announces Latest Top Guns List

12 Mar 2013 11:23

Informa Investment Solutions (“Informa”), a division of Informa PLC (LSE: INF) and leading provider of software and strategic solutions to the financial services marketplace, has announced its latest PSN Top Guns list, which covers the fourth quarter of last year as well as the decade ending December 31, 2012.

According to data compiled for Informa’s PSN database, U.S. equity markets posted very strong returns across the board in 2012, with the Small Value universe showing the biggest gains. The Russell 2000 Value had a gain of 3.2% in the fourth quarter, a figure that was dramatically outpaced by a number of smaller, lesser-known names on the latest Top Guns list, giving credence to the idea that smaller boutique shops are more nimble and able to do better in this space. Because of their strong performance, Frontier Small Cap Value (+5.9%), Vulcan Value Partners (+5.2%) and Channing Small Cap Value (+8.8%) are all names likely to become more familiar to investors in the coming months.

“The PSN Top Guns award is designed to recognise investment products with superior risk-adjusted performance over time,” explained Ruth Calderon, Senior Vice President, Data Collection and Distribution, Informa Investment Solutions. “What really sets the Top Gun list apart from other rankings is that we include every product in each category universe, regardless of the size of the firm behind it. We don’t include asset levels in any of the rankings, allowing small firms with great performance to compete on a level playing field against larger firms.”

Of the various international sectors analysed, emerging markets showed the most dynamic performance, with the MSCI Emerging Markets Index posting a 5.6% gain in the fourth quarter and 18.6% for the year. Aberdeen Asset Emerging Markets Equity was a star performer in that universe with a 6.9% return on the quarter. Vontobel Emerging Market Equity’s 2012 return of 22.2% also garnered a spot on the list.

Developed international markets also did quite well as investor concerns about a collapse in the Euro receded. Artisan Partner’s International Value strategy and Lazard’s LQE Small Cap Advantage product both posted gains of 7.2% on the quarter, besting the benchmark MSCI EAFE return of 6.6%.

“Last year was not a good time to be timid, since generally speaking the investors who were willing to take the biggest risks managed to reap the biggest rewards,” said Marc Odo, Director of Applied Research, Informa Investment Solutions. “U.S. equities lead the pack for most of the year before overseas investments inched ahead of U.S. markets in the last quarter.”

The year’s “risk-on” theme also extended into the realm of fixed income, as demonstrated by the 3.2% gain for High Yield bonds. Perennial fixed income powerhouses BlackRock and Loomis Sayles both boasted high yield products delivering a 4.0% quarterly return.

PSN, a division of Informa Investment Solutions Inc., maintains the world’s longest-running and most robust manager database, containing 12,000 institutional investment products reported by more than 2,000 managers. To be considered for 5-Star Top Guns status, an asset manager must have demonstrated the ability to deliver superior risk-adjusted returns over time relative to the appropriate benchmark. Specifically, PSN screens for an R-squared of 0.80 or greater relative to the style benchmark over the most recent five-year period ending date and returns greater than the benchmark for the three latest three-year rolling periods. Finally, products must have a five-year standard deviation equal to or less than the median for the peer group. The separate managed account products with the top ten returns for the latest three-year period then become Top Guns.

About Informa Investment Solutions, Inc.
Informa Investment Solutions, a subsidiary of Informa PLC, is a leading provider of solutions and custom services to financial institutions and investment professionals. For over 30 years, Informa Investment Solutions has supplied valuable data and offered tailored performance measurement, wealth management tools, reporting, and communications solutions to brokerages, money management firms, investment consultants, independent advisors and pension plan sponsors. We serve more than 1,300 clients and track data in our widely-used PSN database for more than 2,000 investment management firms and 12,000 products worldwide. For more information on Informa Investment Solutions, visit www.informais.com.