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UBS tackles Europe

UBS GLOBAL ASSET MANAGEMENT

UBS European Equity Fund

Type:
Oeic

Aim:
Growth by investing in European equities excluding the UK

Minimum investment:
Lump sum £1,000, monthly £50

Investment split:
24. 37% France, 17.32% Switzerland, 14.44% Germany,
11.96% Netherlands, 5.88% Italy, 4.71% Ireland, 3.98% Belgium, 3.8% Norway, 13.54% other

Isa link:
Yes

Pep transfers:
Yes

Charges:
Initial 4%,
annual 1.5%

Commission:
Initial 3%,
renewal 0.5%

Tel: 0800 5872111

The UBS European equity fund is one of two new funds that UBS has recently added to its retail Oeic range.

Putting the fund in its geographical context Chase de Vere Financial Solutions research manager Justine Fearns says: “Europe has not fared well in comparison to other regions but investors&#39 awareness is growing due to the large amount of change and reform that is taking place both geographically, politically and in the regulatory regime. In addition, most commentators say that Europe is attractively priced compared to the US and UK right now.”

Fearns thinks UBS manages money with a very strong and consistent investment philosophy and process. She says: “The fund manager and analyst relationship structure is very close-knit. With 86 globally-based career analysts, it has excellent inter-regional coverage. The fund itself has been run as an exempt unauthorised unit trust since 1990 so has a good strong track record in the UK institutional market. As such, this fund should be a relatively strong European proposition. It is good to see that UBS is covering all the core markets now and I hope that the institutional track record can continue to translate through to the retail market.”

Fearns regards the commission as standard, the initial charge as very competitive and the annual management charge as average. She likes the product literature as it is straightforward and covers the investment process and structure well which Fearns says is useful and expected because this where the company&#39s strengths lie. She adds: “The fund information covered on the website includes the fund manager&#39s name but this is omitted from the usual fund fact sheet. While this is not a problem, it is quite useful information to have to hand.”

According to Fearns there is very little to dislike about the UBS European equity fund but she feels there are two points to consider. She says: “Firstly, despite UBS being one of the largest retail managers in Europe, it has taken longer than expected to establish itself in the UK retail market. This may mean that investors are a little wary and take longer to invest with UBS. Secondly, as well as comments regarding Europe being very cheap, there is a lot of comment suggesting that stock picking is the way forward. While the European equity fund is a stock picking fund, based on a strong price to intrinsic value process, it is also a core proposition. It may occasionally find itself left behind some of the more flexible, go anywhere funds.”

Fearns cites HSBC, Cazenove, Fidelity and Artemis as other provides of core European funds that could compete with UBS She concludes: “While these funds may not follow the same investment philosophy, they offer a good core investment proposal.”

BROKER RATINGS:

Suitability to market: Average
Investment strategy: Good
Charges: Average
Adviser remuneration: Good

Overall 6/10

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