The Analyst: This is no time to be a Eurosceptic
Saturday 24 November 2007
Success breeds success. The market leaders in a particular industry are better able to attract world-class talent, which in turn strengthens their positions as experts. In the investment world, Jupiter is a prime example.
Under the stewardship of Edward Bonham Carter, the group has gone from strength to strength. Like bees around a honeypot, it attracts high-quality fund managers, but it also brings on the talent within the organisation.
Jupiter is extremely well known for its UK funds, especially the Jupiter Income Trust, and of course for Eastern Europe. It has been growing its Asian team, too, and I would not be surprised to see Jupiter launch more funds investing in this region in the future. Clearly, emerging markets have been the flavour of the year – I remain optimistic on them – but I think investors should be careful not to ignore other opportunities.
Europe has long been a backwater for UK investors, despite its history of strong performance and talented fund managers. Perhaps the reason is because we tend to view Europe as a bureaucratic nightmare held back by left-wing politicians who are 50 years behind the times. However, Europe is nevertheless home to many world-class companies that have prospered despite the politics.
The Continent is a highly competitive space for fund managers, and it is easy for quality offerings to be lost in the crowd. One fund which I believe has been overlooked is the Jupiter European Fund.
To be fair, the last couple of years have seen the fund struggle. The fund manager is Alex Darwall, who took it over at the beginning of 2001, and he is very much his own man. He stuck by his principles and didn't buy into the credit bull-market, which saw the share prices of low-quality assets soar compared to the high-quality ones. The fund's performance relative to its peer group suffered as a result.
Mr Darwall's portfolio tends to contain companies with strong balance sheets, low levels of debt and an international outlook. Indeed, this fund is a great example of globalisation in action. Mr Darwall favours companies with unique products or services that are able to trade in a global marketplace. This, of course, means that they are less affected by local issues in their own economies.
Banks and property companies don't usually fall into this category, so the Jupiter European portfolio is not particularly exposed to these areas, which have seen so much turmoil this year.
When I met him, Alex Darwall pointed out that Europe hasn't experienced the same rampant credit bubble that we have seen in the UK and US, and so shouldn't suffer the same scale of problems we have seen here.
He doesn't typically worry too much about the overall economic outlook. In his opinion, market analysts have spent too much time wringing their hands about a consumer slowdown in the US and have missed what is happening in emerging markets, particularly the BRIC economies (Brazil, Russia, India, China). He prefers companies pointing more towards this direction.
The themes in the Jupiter European portfolio revolve around energy, the environment, media and pharmaceuticals. Energy is in ever greater demand due to the industrialisation of emerging markets, and Mr Darwall believes the area to look at is oil services. One of his largest holdings is Cie Gen Geophysique, which is involved in exploring for oil through seismic testing. The share price has been weak recently because the company is doing its own drilling rather than hiring out its expertise to another firm.
Another holding in the fund is Novozymes, a world leader in environmental enzymes. Examples include enzymes that will allow us to wash clothes in cold water (thereby saving energy), and enzymes for pig food that means the pigs retain more of the food they eat.
The 10 largest positions in the portfolio make up a large chunk of the fund – 61 per cent – reflecting the manager's conviction about the long-term potential of the companies. Mr Darwall is a classic "buy and hold" investor, believing that if you can find quality companies, share price growth will eventually follow.
The Jupiter European Fund is a high-quality portfolio, which is as much invested in Europe as it is in the major global themes. While the fund has had a difficult time, I believe this is the type of portfolio that will prosper in the more difficult economic conditions we're likely to see over the next two or three years.
Mark Dampier is the head of research at Hargreaves Lansdown, the asset manager, financial adviser and stockbroker. For more information about the funds included in this column, visit www.h-l.co.uk/independent
Crowd-to-let: How crowdfunding sites can give investors a slice of the property market for £500
General Election 2015: How you vote next week could affect your finances
Dirty tricks in a divorce can cause some nasty surprises
Social tenants locked into energy tariff for 40 years
Have you won £1m in the May Premium Bonds draw?
- 1 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 3 Top Gear: Jodie Kidd, Philip Glenister and Guy Martin 'in advanced talks' to join show
- 4 Frankie Boyle on Scottish independence: 'In the Interests of Unity, F**k Off'
- 5 How to gain confidence and maximise your sexual potential
In defence of liberal democracy
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
Andy McSmith's Sketch: Feisty audience is the real star of an enlightening show
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 - £25000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Can you speak German,...
£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An exciting opportunity f...
£215 per day: Ashdown Group: Junior Project Manager (website, web application ...
£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software Engineer / Softw...
Day In a Page
Only a few minutes' drive from the charming town of Marlow, this two-bedroom home sits on the private riverside estate of Harleyford.
This detached four-bedroom home in Middleyard is arranged over two floors, with features that include a wood-burning stove and bespoke oak staircase.
In a row of eight detached Georgian residences, this five-bedroom home offers views of The Sound, Mount Edgcumbe and Cornwall from its impressive veranda and full-length balcony.
If you love cooking for friends this two-bedroom flat - complete with views of the iconic Battersea Power Station and an open-plan kitchen/dining area - will go down a treat.
Located above Grasmere village, this five-bedroom home is arranged over three floors and offers countryside views across Grasmere Lake towards Silver Howe.
Surrounded by the Western fells, this five-bedroom Georgian home retains many original features including panel-plastered ceilings, sash windows and fireplaces.
This six-bedroom home is set amongst three acres of grounds. Currently a large family home, Clift Hill has potential to make a B&B, subject to change of use permissions.
A former period coach house, Glebe Farm Stable is now a three-bedroom cottage with a double car barn, office, kennels and an outbuilding that's currently used as a gym.
Set sail for this four-bedroom farmhouse in Cowes. With five acres of land and an indoor pool, this home oozes character. There is even potential to let a one-bedroom annexe.
Surrounded by woodland, this five-bedroom manor house has plenty of outdoor storage space in the form of three converted loose boxes, two smaller outhouses and a woodstore.
This four-bedroom detached home comes with a double carport, useful workshop, garden and two walkways that offer views of the adjacent countryside.
With space for an equestrian business, a greenhouse for growing your own veg, a wine store and a gym; this five-bedroom home has all the ingredients for a country retreat.
This four-bedroom home has exposed brick chimneys and a vaulted ceiling in a breakfast room that's ideal for summer entertaining - the doors open to the patio and garden.
The decked roof terrace of this two-bedroom flat is perfect for summer drinks while large windows and ample storage space make for a light and spacious interior.
Surrounded by approximately 15 acres of grounds, this six-bedroom grade II-listed home has been extensively refurbished yet retains many period features.
This four-bedroom home comes with a two-bedroom cottage and commercial office, with planning to extend, in a stunning courtyard setting.
In a pretty Norfolk village, this four-bedroom family home is surrounded by landscaped gardens, with even a self-contained annex for guests.
A few miles from the seaside at Perranporth, this four-bedroom farmhouse sits amongst nine acres of idyllic grounds - including a lake and two barns used as holiday lets.
This five-bedroom home is arranged over three floors of a converted Victorian hospital, offering spectacular views of the Pentland Hills - only three miles from the city centre.
This four-bedroom detached home comes with grounds that span to approximately 2.5 acres, as well as two large patio areas and a double garage.
This four-bedroom cottage is a Grade II-listed town house, well-located for the thriving market town of Nailsworth.
A four-bedroom apartment on the ground floor of a stunning period property in North Yorkshire, with two kitchens and a large south-west facing garden.
This high-spec two-bedroom home is part of a smart collection of new flats at Beaufort Park and has a large decked balcony that's perfect for summer drinks.
Capitalise on the fabulous views of Trevone Bay by taking two homes and creating one spacious boutique B&B. Just a cliff-top walk from Padstow.
Overlooking a golf course, this six-bedroom Edwardian detached home spans four storeys and retains many period features including the original, operational servants' bells...
On the edge of the city, this six-bedroom home comes with an outdoor swimming pool and a large garage block that has annexe potential.
In a Grade II-listed manor just outside of Bath, this three-bedroom home is arranged on two floors with a skylight in a vaulted roof line.
Open the living room's bi-fold wooden doors to reveal a retro-style kitchen, and a conservatory leading to a paved garden at this three-bedroom home.
A Grade II-listed, four-bedroom home, in a charming Somerset village, with a two-storey studio that could be converted into a holiday cottage
A modern four-bedroom Victorian home, within walking distance to the high street
A luxury apartment in the Gothic mansion of Wyfold Court in Kingwood, offers six bedrooms spread over three floors and a turret
This school conversion, near Stockwell Tube, oozes New York loft style. The one-bedroom flat features double height ceilings and exposed brick work
This six-bedroom Georgian home is on three floors with open fireplaces, a two-oven Aga, an annexe, and cottage gardens with outbuildings and a car barn
High Crest House covers an impressive 9384sq ft, with almost three acres of grounds including a tennis court and summer house enclosed by electric gates
A six-bedroom farmhouse with separate accommodation in converted stables. Situated in the village of Church Aston, within walking distance to the market town
A two-bedroom flat with under-heated walnut floors and bespoke built-in storage. The Tube and Clapham Common are a short stroll away
A refurbished seven-bedroom townhouse with staff quarters, cinema room, superb gym, steam room and plunge pool
A minimnalist four-bedroom home designed to the highest spec, featuring glass walls and a kitchen space lit by a glass roof
Hibernate during winter and make your living during the summer at this busy guesthouse with panoramic sea views, in the village of Lynton
A four-bedroom penthouse next to the Tate with direct views of St Paul's from two floors of luxurious living space
A four-bedroom detached home surrounded by spacious gardens and woodland, close to New Pudsey
An 18th-century, three-bedroom home near Langstone Harbour built from ships beams with vaulted ceilings and wood burning stoves
A five-bedroom semi-detached home with a mix of period and modern features in a popular and convenient location
This five-bedroom red-brick beauty overlooks the village green and sits in just under two acres of land
A three-bedroom villa with self-contained flat, minutes from Lake Windermere
A five-bedroom Victorian home with four receptions, superb gardens and paddock in Pembury
An eight-bedroom house on the south side of the The Green with cinema, wine cellars and summer house
This 17th century beauty is full of rustic cosiness, while the detached home office means you can also run a business
Four exclusive apartments in a Grade II-listed former medical school with 2,275 sq ft of living space and 18ft ceilings