Exeter Investment Group is offering a European fund for the first time after taking over the management contract of the Sanwa European growth trust.
The company is a small investment management group and it felt that the most practical way to expand its fund range across Europe was to take over the management of an existing fund, rather than build its own fund from scratch.
The fund aims for capital growth by investing in European mid and large caps. It will be managed by Mark Webster, who joined Exeter in October 2001. He was formerly European investment director at Murray Johnstone. Assisting Webster will be Richard Scott, an international specialist at Exeter.
Webster and Scott will initially use a top-down approach to stockpicking, which will be supplemented by detailed analysis of individual sectors, then stocks within those sectors. They will focus on the energy, technology, outsourcing financials and healthcare sectors that Exeter's fund range favours as a whole. They will also look at the media, luxury goods and telecommunications sectors, which they believe offer good investment opportunities within a cyclical upturn.
Exeter's decision to move into Europe may be the result of the optimistic mood that has emerged amid talk of a global recovery. However, Europe has been a disappointment in the last couple of years and is currently not as strong as the UK. Some investors may feel this casts a shadow of uncertainty over its ability to fully embrace the anticipated recovery immediately.
According to Standard & Poor's the Exeter global opportunities fund is ranked third out of 127 funds based on £1,000 invested on a bid-to-bid basis with net income reinvested over three years to May 27, 2002.