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The "German Mittelstand" forms the basis of the German economy and is a driver for innovation. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which are often world market leaders in their industries, are crucial for Germany’s success and prosperity. For Olgerd Eichler, fund manager of the MainFirst Germany Fund (best German Fund on a 1, 3 and 5 year basis) and Partner of the Frankfurt asset management multi-boutique, these companies are a key component in the outperformance of his fund.
In the webinar Olgerd Eichler, fund manager of the MainFirst Germany Fund, provides insight into the fundamental analysis of SMEs and an outlook on the development of German equities in the next 12 months.
Frankfurt am Main, 17 February 2016 – After a successful year 2015, MainFirst Asset Management again received nine fund awards in the first weeks of 2016: The MainFirst Global Equities A Funds, which is lead-managed by Frank Schwarz, ranked number one in the €uroFund Awards as the best performing global equity fund in 2015 over one year. Olgerd Eichler, who manages the MainFirst Germany Fund A, is the proud recipient of several prizes: In the category “equity fund Germany”, his fund has been awarded the Deutsche Fondspreis 2016, which is presented by Fonds professionell and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. The fund also received the €uro-FundAwards in the category “small cap funds Germany” over one, three and five years and the Lipper Fund Awards in Austria and Switzerland over three and five years respectively in the category „Equity Germany“.
MainFirst Germany Fund: Outperformance based on family businesses
Both funds succeeded in significantly outperforming their benchmarks in 2015, generating about 20 percentage points more than the peer averages in their respective categories. The MainFirst Germany Fund A returned 37.25 percent in 2015 compared to an average 19.06 percent in the “small caps Germany” peer group. Its benchmark, the FSE HDAX TR EUR, increased by 12.63 percent. “We have a special focus and invest mainly in German companies that are undervalued but very well positioned and boast strong managements as well as high earnings growth. We favour owner- or family-managed companies because we find that companies benefit from managers who are themselves invested in the company”, explains fund manager Olgerd Eichler. “These companies are monitored very closely and we meet frequently with the management in order to identify the most promising investments. This results in a highly concentrated portfolio of around 30 positions. Our investment horizon is long-term and we have no benchmark constraints.”
MainFirst Global Equities: Strategic investments in the trends of the future
In 2015, the MainFirst Global Equities A returned 33.88 percent compared to an average 11.74 percent in its “global large caps growth” peer group. The benchmark, the MSCI World NR EUR, gained 10.42 percent over the same period. Fund manager Frank Schwarz uses a bottom-up stock picking technique for the MainFirst Global Equities that is underpinned by a thematic approach. “We favour companies with structural growth patterns and take strategic exposures in order to benefit from their longer term development,” explains Schwarz. “Current strategic themes include the increasing digitisation, certain health topics such as diabetes and visual aids and the future of mobility.” This fundamentally driven long-term company selection is combined with short-term tactical asset allocation: In order to reduce fund volatility and risk, Schwarz and his colleagues manage the fund’s equity allocation actively in a range from 0 to 100 percent.
MainFirst Asset Management relies on strong fund managers with distinct strategies
“We view the strong performance of the two funds as proof of our investment company’s strategy to rely on experienced fund managers with long-term track records,” says Oliver Haseley, head of asset management at MainFirst. “The fund management teams we employ as part of our multi-boutique approach follow their own disciplined investment styles. We rely deliberately on strong portfolio managers with distinct approaches and investment decisions which move them away from their respective benchmarks in order to generate outperformance for investors.” There is no MainFirst house view and the fund management teams are free to define their own investment universes. Instead, MainFirst adds disciplined processes and dedicated risk management to complement the active fund management decisions. Looking ahead over this year, Haseley explains: “After the strong performance of our funds over the last years, which has mostly benefited institutional investors, we are now increasingly opening our products for retail clients. We are delighted to register significant interest from private investors and with Thomas Hammer, we now have a proven expert on board who will be the point of contact for retail investors.”
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About MainFirst Asset Management
MainFirst Asset Management is part of the owner-managed and independent European financial services provider MainFirst. MainFirst Asset Management currently manages about EUR 3 billion in mutual funds and separate accounts. With its multi-boutique approach, the company focuses on selected investment strategies in the equity, fixed income and multi asset space. MainFirst follows an active management approach that seeks to select securities based on fundamental research rather than tracking a benchmark.
In addition to its asset management business, MainFirst Group supports clients in Equity Brokerage and Equity Capital Markets. With 200 employees overall, it develops innovative client solutions. MainFirst has offices in Frankfurt, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Milan, Munich, New York, Paris and Zürich.