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Julian Gibbs

To me, it is extraordinary that few of the press and IFAs have noticed the new star in the solar system, Neptune.

Its UK equity fund is one of a very few funds showing a positive return over one year to date and is, at present, second out of 293 funds.

Robin Geffen, the controlling shareholder of Neptune, has an outstanding record. All four of his funds are in the top decile of their sectors since launch, an achievement not equalled by any other group.

Not only has his UK equity fund outperformed most of the opposition by a considerable margin but the Neptune balanced fund has an even better relative performance.

Since launch in December 1998 it has risen by 109 per cent and is first out of 158 funds while the average fund has gone down by 13 per cent. This is an extraordinary performance in difficult markets. This fund is also the first over one year and three years in its sector.

Robin Geffen employs all his fund managers on five-year contracts. They have share options which only come into play if the manager stays with the company for five years. So I believe that, unlike most fund management groups, star managers are likely to stay.

The Neptune UK equity fund invests in around 40 to 50 shares, mainly in the top 400 companies. Robin Geffen believes the FTSE100 index will rise to around the 4,800 mark by the end of next year and he expects to outperform the index by a reason-able margin.

While all of the Neptune funds are top performers in their sectors, I particularly like the UK equity fund and, for more conservative investors, the balanced fund. I believe all IFAs should add these funds to their recommended list.

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