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Berry says diversity has protected its portfolios

Discretionary fund manager Berry Asset Management says its multi-asset multi-manager approach has protected its risk-gra-ded portfolios from the worst of the recent equity market falls.

When equity markets were falling, Berry’s holdings in index-linked gilts, gold and absolute return funds were performing well, with some valuations reaching all-time highs. It believes diversification across asset class and manager has helped its portfolios hold up well relative to equity markets.

Berry has also benefited from its defensive positioning within equities across its portfolios. Much of its equity exposure is achieved through income funds, which tend to hold more defensive companies that pay dividends. It says these companies have been undervalued relative to more growth-oriented companies.

Director Mark Sherwood says: “We always feel the best thing is to be proactive rather the reactive, so we have been getting on the telephones to talk to IFAs about their clients’ portfolios and speaking to clients directly. But we are guided by the IFA – some want to write to clients themselves and some prefer us to speak directly to their client.

“On the whole, clients are measured and calm about the situation. They felt our portfolios are well diversified and we did not have any who were unduly concerned. We also won some new business as one client was so impressed that we had called to offer reassurance that he invested more money with us.”

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Sub-Saharan Africa Near-Term Outlook

By Paul Caruana-Galizia, Neptune Economist

Sub-Saharan Africa’s economic renaissance continues. After growing at an average rate of five per cent over the past decade, the IMF projects an acceleration to 5.5 per cent growth among Sub-Saharan economies in the next two years, as developed economies emerge from the crisis. We expect this growth to be sustainable for three broad reasons.

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