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Comgest reports record AUM

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Comgest’s assets under management rose to a group record of EUR21.8 in 2016, representing a EUR1 billion increase from 2015.

Although 2016 saw industry suffer the highest level of equity redemptions globally since 2008, Comgest held steady with net inflows into its open-ended funds reaching EUR340 million.
 
With more than 15 strategies covering global equity markets, Comgest fund flows tended to be more stable due to this regional diversification.
 
Comgest’s Japan and US strategies have attracted close to EUR80 million inflows. The US strategy in particular has almost doubled its AUM to over EUR120 million. In comparison, the Comgest Global Emerging Market strategies benefited from more than EUR300m net inflows, while Global and European equities experienced fund outflows during the last two months of 2016.
 
The Comgest fund management team grew to 40 members in 2016. Additions included Nicholas Morse and Zak Smerczak who are based in Paris and concentrate on Latin American and global equities, respectively, whilst Bhuvnesh Singh is focused on Indian equities and based out of the Singapore office.
 
After significant investment over recent years, Comgest’s Japanese and US research teams now include 10 regional analysts and PMs.
 
For the third year in a row, the UN PRI recognised Comgest with an A+ (top-grade) rating for the quality and implementation of its Responsible Investment Policy. The Paris-headquartered group was also recognised as one of the top-rated global asset managers in Extel and SRI Connect’s 2016 Independent Research in Responsible Investment (IRRI) survey for the second year running.
 
In addition, Comgest’s ESG analysts participated in a record number of activities during the year and the group exceeded its previous level of ESG company engagements on topics requiring in-depth analysis or advice. In conjunction with MD Financial Management in Canada, Comgest helped launch a “fossil fuel-free fund” that respects all aspects of Comgest’s investment philosophy and ESG credentials, as evidenced by the decades-low carbon footprint of the Group’s portfolios.
 
In October 2016, Comgest registered its Boston- and Dublin-based entities with the SEC in order to offer dedicated portfolio management services to US clients, in addition to its private fund offerings. The Boston office, which undertakes investment research for the group, is now also serving as a hub for US investor relations activities.
 
Comgest appointed two senior investor relations professionals, James DuPont and Kevin Robertson, who collectively share almost 30 years of industry experience, with the objective of enhancing the servicing of Comgest’s institutional investor base in the region. They join Peter Shapiro, a US equities analyst who transferred from Comgest’s Paris office to launch the group’s Boston-based research activities in 2015.
 
Owing to absolute performance, Comgest’s 2016 assets under management grew by 5 per cent. However, the relative performance of its funds suffered from the value rally in the second half of the year.
 
Comgest’s conviction remains firm that the basis for performance over the long-term is sustainable earnings growth. Its goal is to invest in companies that can sustain above-average earnings growth over the medium term. In 2016, the portfolio holdings of all its strategies delivered solid earnings growth, while the aggregate performance of their stocks lagged behind. Consequently, over the past 12 months the risk-return profile for quality growth stocks has improved. 

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