The Henderson multi-manager funds reported their best sales figures for five years in 2009, with gross sales of more than £175m – up from £11m in 2008.
Henderson New Star says prior to 2008, sales were slow as head of equities Bill McQuaker built up a three-year track record. Last year’s surge in sales is attributed to a combination of McQuaker’s track record, consistent performance across the funds and investors returning to the market.
McQuaker says in the five years he has been running the Henderson funds, they have delivered consistent returns in good and bad markets.
He says: “With multi-manager funds, people want to hand over their portfolios and sleep easy, knowing that however markets develop there will be a decent outcome. That is what we have been trying to do and we have been doing it consistently.”
One of the challenges for McQuaker is getting currency exposure right. He says the funds are long in relation to the dollar and Asian currencies but neutral on sterling.
“I do not want to take a strong view on sterling but will remain alert to developments. This may sound wishy-washy but trying to pre-empt how it is going to develop is challenging.
“Sterling has fallen 25-35 per cent in the last two years, so the market has already priced in a lot of factors. It is conceivable the election could throw up a hung Parliament, which could prove difficult, but it is also conceivable that a new Government will be formed that will move quickly to reassure the market. This could cause sterling to rise.”