The largest asset management houses comfortably beat inflation over both one and three years to the end of October 2012. This is according to the RisCView Big 12 Barometer from RisCura Consulting, which was released today.  An important tool for the retirement fund industry, the Barometer tracks the performances of the global balanced portfolios of the 12 largest asset managers. 

In addition, while overall the managers delivered much the same levels of returns as they did last year, they did so with much less volatility. The three year volatility figures in last year’s Big 12 Barometer ranged from 7% to 12%.  This year, the range was between 3% and 9%.

“This indicates that despite a general feeling that returns are extremely volatile, in fact a degree of stability has crept back into the numbers,” says Claire Rentzke, Senior Consultant at RisCura Consulting.

In terms of returns, the best performer over both periods was the Foord Global Balanced (Moderate) portfolio, which delivered 21.94% over one year and 17.50% per annum over three years.  This is in comparison to the manager at the bottom of the ranking table , with a one year performance of 9.55% and a three year performance of 10.70%. “This substantial difference between the top performer and the bottom performers over both periods is noteworthy,” says Rentzke.

Those managers who have a particular focus on capital preservation had far lower levels of volatility. One of these managers in particular is Allan Gray.  However, its Global fund was able to deliver a return of 14.31% over one year, and 12.86% over three years, with volatility of percentage of 4.09%, the lowest of all the managers.

Foord’s performance was driven by its outstanding stock picking and asset allocation skills, Rentzke says, but this was achieved through taking on more risk, as illustrated by its higher risk percentage of 7.61%.

A further noteworthy feature of the results was the substantial growth in assets under management experienced by two houses in particular.  Last year, Coronation’s Full Discretion portfolio had a market value of just over R8 billion; this year that figure jumped to R20 billion. Foord also enjoyed substantial inflows, from just under R10 billion last year, to more than R24 billion this year.

To view the RiCView Big 12 Barometer click here.