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Standard Life Investments UK Equity Income Unconstrained

Elite Rated by FundCalibre

Due to the unconstrained nature of the investment process, manager Thomas Moore is free to construct a concentrated portfolio of his best ideas, regardless of index weightings. He looks for non-consensus ideas, so the fund can differ dramatically from others in the equity income sector, which may hold more traditional income-paying stocks.

Company Description

Standard Life Investments (SLI) was launched as an investment management company in 1998. It has offices around the world in locations such as London, Boston, Sydney and Hong Kong, and also maintains close relationships with domestic partners in Asia. SLI covers a range of asset classes including equities, fixed income and real estate.

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Fund Manager

He joined Standard Life Investments in 2002 as an investment analyst. He then managed EMEA portfolios before moving to UK Equities in 2006. He manages the Income Unconstrained fund and two institutional funds, as well as analysing the Banks and Financial Services sectors.

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I've played the cello since I was five and I see parallels with managing a portfolio. There is science and art in both activities. You must have a clear sense of what sound you are trying to produce and how you are going to achieve that sound from the different notes you play.

Thomas Moore - Fund Manager

The Investment Process

Like other managers at Standard Life Investments (SLI), Thomas uses the “matrix”, which is a quantitative screen that identifies high-quality stocks with upward momentum. Combining this with fundamental analysis done by himself and other SLI analysts, the intention is to identify stocks with growing earnings and potential for dividend increases. He is free to look across the entire UK market. While the fund is benchmark unconstrained, he keeps a close eye on the fund volatility to avoid introducing risk into the portfolio.

Risk

The fund’s volatility is broadly in line with the UK stock market. However, the unconstrained and concentrated nature of the fund means it can carry a high degree of stock-specific risk. The “matrix” tends to pick out stocks that exhibit a high degree of momentum and these can fall out of fashion, particularly in tough markets.

Our Opinion

Thomas’ approach is very different from many of his peers, with the fund being a concentrated best ideas portfolio, constructed with no regard to the index. The “matrix” has a proven track record in flagging up potential ideas and this, combined with Thomas’ analytical flair, are two significant contributors to the success of the fund, offering something a bit different from many in the sector.

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