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14th winning year for fund star Miller

Legg Mason value fund manager Bill Miller has beaten the S&P500 index for an unprecedented 14th consecutive year despite lagging the market by 5.6 per cent as late as the end of October.

The $1bn Dublin-domiciled value fund, a mirror of Miller’s US-based $11.8bn value trust, posted growth of 4 per cent in sterling terms over 2004 against a 3.4 per cent return from the S&P500.

Miller’s record looked in jeopardy, with the fund 6.96 per cent behind its benchmark in August. In October, the fund was still trailing the index by almost 6 per cent.

Forsyth Partners’ research shows that Miller’s heavy weighting in tech and internet-based consumer discretionary stocks, such as ebay, which staged a late rally, enabled the fund to edge it. One holding, Expedia parent IAC, gained over 6 per cent in the last week of the year.

Miton Investments fund of funds manager Sam Liddle says: “There was a worry he was going to miss it. It is a fine achievement and he was well positioned for the market rally after the election.”


Britannic buys Allianz Cornhill life firm

Britannic Group has bought the life operations of Allianz Cornhill Insurance. Britannic completed the purchase of the subsidiary on December 31, 2004 on terms agreed at the start of initial negotiations.It paid £93m as an initial consideration and a final undisclosed sum will be paid once a completion valuation has been undertaken.

Private matter

YFM Private Equity intends to raise up to £15m in C shares for its British sma-ller companies venture capital trust. The VCT was established in 1996 and raised £16.25m in its first two years. It has invested £18.2m in unquoted and Aim-listed companies to date since launch. The directors decided on a C-share issue rather […]

Small wonder Coming clean

Prudential, MM’s land-lord, has issued a strong denial that the lack of hot showers available is cruel rev-enge for any past yarns or an attempt to cool the libidos of our hacks. Apparently, a thor-ough investigation at Pru discovered it is an MM-installed shower and the Pru plumber reckons not a hot drop has passed […]

Purely Mortgages announces partnership with Cox Insurance Holdings

Purely Mortgages announces a strategic partnership with Cox Insurance Holdings to provide household insurance products to its customers.Cox will deliver a fully integrated quotation system with Purely to quote on buildings and contents insurance at the initial application stage of a mortgage.Cox business development executive Paul Firkins says: “We are delighted to be working with […]


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