A multi-billion-dollar asset manager, whose top investments include an internet auction website and healthcare darling CSL, has taken the crown for top performing Australian equity large growth fund, beating the index by almost 7 per cent.

Morningstar silver-rated Hyperion Australian Growth Companies Fund, led by chief investment officer Mark Arnold, was the best performing Australian equity large growth fund out of the 36 within the category measured over the calendar year to 30 November 2018.

The fund returned 3.97 per cent (cumulative) versus the S&P/ASX 200 index return of -2.72 per cent – a gap of 6.69 percentage points.

Hyperion Asset Management chief investment officer Mark Arnold. The company was named Australian Fund Manager of the Year by Morningstar in 2016

Among Hyperion’s biggest contributors over the year were Trade Me (ASX: TME), which is New Zealand’s leading online classified site for automotive, jobs and real estate, Australian biotech giant CSL (ASX: CSL), and global provider of banking, financial, advisory, investment and fund management services Macquarie Group (ASX: MQG).

Trade Me’s share price has risen almost 40 cent in the past year. And it is set to change hands after the board today accepted a $2.4 billion bid from Apax – a British private equity group.

Despite the success of Trade Me, the Hyperion portfolio was weighed down by two of the largest exposures its top 10 holdings: employment website Seek (ASX: SEK) and medical device manufacturer Fisher & Paykel Healthcare (ASX: FPH).

Following Hyperion in second place was Smallco’s Broadcap concentrated Australian equities fund, which returned 3.74 per cent (cumulative).

Morningstar Category: Australian Equity – Large Growth

 

Despite the success and growing popularity of low-cost exchange-traded funds among DIY investors, the success of Hyperion shows that skilled active fund managers still have the edge in identifying pockets of opportunity during times of turbulence.

Other top performers this year include AllianceBernstein, which topped the Australian equity (large blend) category, and Clime Asset Management, which dominated the Australian equity (large value) category.

In the Australian Small/Mid Cap space, boutique investment management firm QVG dominated.

Morningstar Category: Australian Equity – Large Blend

Bronze-rated AB (AllianceBernstein) Managed Volatility Equities, led by chief investment officer Roy Maslen, topped the large blend category with returns of 2.85 per cent.

AB’s biggest positions are in cash, medical equipment supplier ResMed (ASX: RMD), conglomerate Wesfarmers (ASX: WES) and infrastructure giant Transurban Group (ASX: TCL).


Morningstar Category: Australian Equity – Large Value

Clime Australian Value returned 1.49 per cent to investors over the calendar year to 30 November 2018. This compared to a category return of -6.51 per cent, and the S&P/ASX 200 index return of -2.72 per cent.


Among Hyperion’s biggest contributors over the year was New Zealand’s leading online classified site Trade Me

Morningstar Silver-rated Investors Mutual Concentrated Australian Share ranked second with a -2.04 per cent return (cumulative) and took out the best performing Australian equity – large value fund over five years to 30 November 2018, returning 8.93 per cent (annualised).


Australian Small/Mid Cap Shares

Morningstar Category: Australian Equity – Mid/Small Blend

Boutique investment management firm QVG Capital vastly outperformed both the category and benchmark.

Since January this year, the QVG Opportunities Fund has returned 16.79 per cent to investors – compared to an S&P/ASX Small Ordinaries index return of -4.68 per cent.

QVG’s top portfolio holdings in November were global advertising platform GTN Limited (ASX: GTN), exploration and mineral development company Aurelia Metals (ASX: AMI) and internet lottery business Jumbo Interactive (ASX: JIN).

Jumbo Interactive is best known for running the Oz Lotteries website. Jumbo’s share price has risen about 110 per cent in the past year.

Portfolio managers Tony Waters and Chris Prunty (formerly of fund manager Ausbil) closed the fund to new money in July, less than a year after opening.


Morningstar Category: Australian Equity – Mid/Small Growth

Sydney-based fund manager Selector, whose top investments include an online lottery business and software darling Altium, took out the top performing mid/small Australian equity growth category with thei Australian Equities fund, returning 7.26 to investors. This compared to the S&P/ASX Small Ordinaries return of -4.68 per cent.

Selector’s biggest portfolio contributors were Australian aerial imagery technology and location data company Nearmap (ASX: NEA), internet lottery business Jumbo Interactive (ASX: JIN), and software provider Altium (ASX: ALU).

Morningstar Category: Australian Equity – Mid/Small Value

Perennial Value Smaller Companies Trust topped the mid-small value category, returning 3.16 per cent to investors over the calendar year to 30 November 2018.

This compared to a category return of -0.85 per cent, and the S&P/ASX Small Ordinaries return of 4.48 per cent.

 

This article was written for and originally published in Morningstar

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