The fund aims for growth by investing in a portfolio of 50 to 70 European equities excluding the UK, but can invest in fixed interest and derivatives where appropriate. Fund managers Mark Page and Laurent Millet are not restricted in terms of company size or region when selecting stocks.
Page joined Artemis in September from LV= Asset Management where he was head of European equities, following Millet who joined in July. Page and Millet aim to consistently beat the fund’s benchmark index and its peer group. Artemis says this is important as returns can be built up over time, rather than inconsistent performance where a lot of lost ground has to be recovered before returns can grow.
The bulk of the portfolio will comprise 40 to 50 long-term holdings with high returns on equity and little or no debt. The remainder will comprise 10 to 20 stocks that are more opportunistic. Risk management is also essential in terms of country, sector, stock and currency.
Artemis says the case against investing in European equities is well known, but the case for investing is also clear. It says bad news is already priced into many equities, which look good value and that there is more to Europe than the Eurozone sovereign debt issue, as many countries and companies within Europe are attractive from an investment viewpoint.
Defaqto insight analyst for funds Fraser Donaldson thinks that launching a European fund at a time when the Eurozone is so volatile may turn out to be a masterstroke. He says: “A number of European economies are in very poor health but this funds remit is not just limited to those affected by the Euro. Scandinavia and Switzerland are thriving and others are actually benefiting from a weak euro, such as Poland. Geographical boundaries are also extended to include Emerging Europe and countries such as Turkey.
“Advisers looking for a more focused European fund may wish to consider this fund for their clients.”