EQUITIES

Merian Global Investors has highly regarded investment capabilities – incorporating a range of both long-only and long/short strategies – covering most major stock markets, and a number of different investment styles.

We believe that success in equity investing requires a high degree of specialism, with investment approaches honed to reflect the distinctive nuances of diverse stock markets. Consistent with this belief, we have created an environment in which talented investment teams can thrive, taking true accountability for their performance, while being unencumbered by an imposed ‘house view’ or investment style. Over time, we have built and nurtured capabilities across global, UK, European, Asian and emerging market equities, offering a multitude of long-only and long/short capabilities, and covering different parts of the market capitalisation spectrum.

Philosophy

The managers believe that markets are not fully efficient and that stock prices often diverge from their fundamental value due to investors’ behavioural biases.

The investment process seeks to exploit these biases in a dynamic and efficient way, pursuing outperformance driven principally by bottom-up stock selection.

The team believes that a performance-oriented investment strategy should also be flexible, so that the prevailing conditions and outlook can be incorporated, thus ensuring the greatest scope for sustained outperformance.

Investment team

The team has three portfolio managers. Ian Heslop, has a PhD in medical chemistry and over 18 years’ investment experience. Amadeo Alentorn has a PhD in computational finance and Mike Servent holds a BA in physics from the University of Oxford. The portfolio managers are supported by three analysts, Yuangao Liu, Matus Mrazik and Sean Storey, and strategist Justin Wells.

Capabilities
  • Long-only global equities

    Merian Global Equity Fund

    The strategy is characterised by a highly distinctive, flexible approach with no style bias. At the heart of the process is a powerful, 5-factor proprietary stock selection model. The result is a portfolio with the potential to offer excellent diversification from more traditional global equity sttrategies. The strategy offers access to a large opportunity set, underscored by a demonstrably repeatable, dispassionate investment process.

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    Merian World Equity Fund

    The strategy is characterised by a highly distinctive, flexible approach with no style bias. At the heart of the process is a powerful, 5-factor proprietary stock selection model. The result is a portfolio with the potential to offer excellent diversification from more traditional global equity strategies. The strategy offers access to a large opportunity set, underscored by a demonstrably repeatable, dispassionate investment process.

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  • Long-only global equity income

    Merian Global Equity Income Fund (IRL)

    The strategy aims to offer diversification benefits by looking beyond the more traditional sources of income-generating sectors – healthcare, telecommunications and utilities – to capture income. By adopting an unconstrained, total return approach the team seeks out what it believes are the most compelling investment opportunities. At the heart of the strategy is the global equity team’s demonstrably repeatable, dispassionate investment process.

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  • Long-only North American/US equities

    Merian North American Equity Fund

    The strategy is characterised by a highly distinctive, flexible approach with no style bias. At the heart of the process is a powerful, 5-factor proprietary stock selection model. The result is a portfolio with the potential to offer excellent diversification from more traditional North American equity strategies. The strategy offers access to an opportunity set of approximately 1,400 stocks, underscored by the global equity team’s demonstrably repeatable, dispassionate investment process.

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    Merian US Equity Income Fund

    The fund is designed to deliver a total return by targeting dividend yield and capital growth through investment in a highly diversified portfolio of US equities. The team follows a dynamic investment process, focused on stock selection through analysis of fundamental company data, as well as taking account of the macro-economic environment and investor sentiment. The team strongly believes this unique approach will result in significant diversification from concentrated, style-biased funds.

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  • Long-only Asia ex-Japan equities

    Merian Pacific Equity Fund

    The fund is designed to capture and enhance the opportunity set afforded by Asian equities, by harnessing a unique, but highly diversified investment process. Adopting both top-down and bottom-up characteristics, the team focuses on stock selection across sectors by employing a combination of fundamental investment techniques, based on company-level data, with an evaluation of the prevailing market environment and levels of investor risk appetite across the investable universe. The team has strong conviction that this unique approach can deliver significant diversification from conventional concentrated, style-embedded funds.

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    Merian Asia Pacific Fund

    The fund is designed to capture and enhance the opportunity set afforded by Asian equities, by harnessing a unique, but highly diversified investment process. Adopting both top-down and bottom-up characteristics, the team focuses on stock selection across sectors by employing a combination of fundamental investment techniques, based on company-level data, with an evaluation of the prevailing market environment and levels of investor risk appetite across the investable universe. The team has strong conviction that this unique approach can deliver significant diversification from conventional concentrated, style-embedded funds.

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  • Long-only Asia ex-Japan equity income

    Merian Asian Equity Income Fund

    The fund is designed to capture and enhance the opportunity set afforded by Asian equities, by harnessing a unique, but highly diversified investment process. Adopting both top-down and bottom-up characteristics, the team focuses on stock selection across sectors by employing a combination of fundamental investment techniques, based on company-level data, with an evaluation of the prevailing market environment and levels of investor risk appetite across the investable universe. The team has strong conviction that this unique approach can deliver significant diversification from conventional concentrated, style-embedded funds. Unusually for an Asian equity income fund, the portfolio managers will run the fund to achieve monthly distributions.

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  • Long/short, market-neutral global equities

    Merian Global Equity Absolute Return Fund

    Systematically driven, highly diversified, long/short global equity market neutral strategy, employing a flexible approach with no style bias. The strategy benefits from a powerful, five-factor proprietary stock selection model resulting in portfolios with the potential to be genuinely uncorrelated with peers. The approach offers access to a large opportunity set, underscored by a demonstrably repeatable, dispassionate process.

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Large-cap

Philosophy

The cornerstones of the approach are twofold: fundamental research into the companies in which we invest and a patient, long-term time horizon.

Many investors focus on the immediate outlook for companies and share prices. Quarterly result statements and the vagaries of current trading, together with concerns about the immediate direction of macroeconomic indicators, tend to drive share prices in the short term.

By contrast, our investment approach focuses on opportunities over a three to five year time horizon. Fundamental research into companies and their prospects over the long term seek to identify both winning business models and significant turnaround situations.

Investment team

Merian Global Investors’ UK large- cap equity team, headed by Richard Buxton, consists of four fund managers and four dedicated analysts. The broader UK equities team of 15 investment professionals offers capabilities in small and mid- cap, large- cap, equity income and equity absolute return investing.

Mid- and small-cap

Philosophy

Merian Global Investors’ UK small and mid cap equities team’s approach is based on the belief that its universe of companies is less well researched than large companies, which results in share price inefficiencies.

They believe that a flexible style encompassing, for example, a willingness to hold value and/or growth stocks, depending on the conditions and outlook, provides the greatest scope for sustained outperformance.

The team makes extensive use of external (top-down and bottom-up) input and overlays this with its own detailed analytical work to identify potential investment opportunities.

Investment team

Our multi-award winning small- and mid-cap UK equity team, led by Dan Nickols includes five portfolio managers and three analysts.

Capabilities
  • Long-only, high conviction, large-cap UK equities

    Merian UK Alpha Fund

    Managed by the highly-respected Richard Buxton, the strategy is focused on maximising long-term capital growth through a high conviction portfolio, concentrated on 35 to 40 UK large cap companies he believes have strong business models, healthy balance sheets and, as yet, unrecognised potential.

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    Merian UK Equity Fund

    The strategy is to build a concentrated, high conviction portfolio, typically comprising between 40 and 60 stocks, with at least 50% of the portfolio invested in large-cap, FTSE 100 companies. The investment team seeks opportunities in three clearly defined areas: undervalued quality, internal change, and external change.

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  • Long-only, all-cap UK equities

    Merian UK Equity Income Fund

    The strategy adopts a total return approach. The actively managed, ‘all company’ fund invests in a range of equities across the UK market. The aim of the fund is to deliver an attractive level of income as well as long-term capital appreciation by taking advantage of the many interesting growth opportunities in the market. To achieve this, the manager maintains a flexible, pragmatic approach to investment.

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  • Long-only, mid-cap UK equities

    Merian UK Mid Cap Fund

    The strategy is focused on the exciting UK mid cap market. It offers investors access to a broad range of themes and investment opportunities across the spectrum of the UK economy, from retailers to manufacturing exporters, from high-tech growth companies to established mainstream brands.

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  • Long-only, small-cap UK equities

    Merian UK Smaller Companies Fund

    The strategy offers investors access to a broad range of themes and investment opportunities across the spectrum of the UK economy from retailers to manufacturing exporters, from high-tech growth companies to established mainstream brands. Old Mutual Global Investors’ highly regarded, long established small- and mid-cap UK equity team is recognised as an industry leader.

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    Merian UK Smaller Companies Focus Fund

    The strategy typically holds at least 80 per cent of its net asset value in smaller companies, defined as companies that are quoted on a regulated market and which have a market capitalisation no greater than the largest company in the Numis Smaller Companies Index at the time of initial investment. 

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  • Long/short, market directional all-cap UK equities

    Merian UK Opportunities Fund

    The strategy provides a diversified, flexible, liquid alternative UK equity investment proposition. The primary objective is delivering steady, positive returns, through the market cycle, by taking long and short positions across the UK market capitalisation spectrum. The strategy is not market neutral but rather takes a directional position (either positive or negative) depending on the manager’s view on the outlook for the UK equity market.

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  • Long/short, market directional mid/smaller UK companies

    Merian UK Dynamic Equity Fund

    This unique strategy combines a focused portfolio of the best ideas from the Old Mutual UK small- and mid-cap funds with the ability to add short positions on an opportunistic basis. The fund has significant freedom to raise cash and increase short positions in adverse market conditions in order to provide enhanced downside protection relative to traditional long-only funds.

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  • Long/short, low net market exposure, smaller UK companies

    Merian UK Specialist Equity Fund

    The strategy takes long and short positions mainly in UK equities outside the FTSE 100 Index, and seeks to deliver absolute returns in all market conditions. The fund is managed with low net exposure to the UK equity market. This provides the potential to deliver positive returns in both rising and falling markets, and with less volatility than traditional equity funds.

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Philosophy

The team believes that stock selection is the key to alpha generation and that opportunities for capital growth are best exploited by identifying catalysts for change at a stock level. The team believes it is possible, in a concentrated portfolio, to select stocks in quality businesses, at compelling valuations with strong growth prospects. The team sees inefficiencies increase lower down the market capitalisation scale so portfolios are unconstrained by capitalisation and also by country and sector.

Investment team

Led by the highly experienced Ian Ormiston, the European equity team includes portfolio manager Liam Nunn and research analyst Nikisha Mistry.

Capabilities
  • Long-only European (ex-UK) smaller companies

    Merian European (ex-UK) Smaller Companies Fund

    The strategy invests in European smaller companies and offers a blended investment style covering growth, value and quality. The manager believes that inefficiencies increase lower down the market capitalisation scale. Stocks are equally weighted with a view to enjoying diversification benefits and managing risk.

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  • Long-only, large-cap pan-European equities

    Merian European Equity Fund

    The strategy invests in European companies offering a blended investment style covering growth, value and quality. The manager believes that inefficiencies increase lower down the market capitalisation scale so the portfolio is unconstrained by capitalisation and also by country and sector. Stocks are equally weighted with a view to enjoying diversification benefits and managing risk.

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  • Long-only, large-cap continental-European equities

    Merian European Equity (ex-UK) Fund

    The strategy invests in continental European companies with a value investment style, while maintaining a focus on lowly valued recovery opportunities. The manager believes that inefficiencies can exist across the market capitalisation spectrum so the portfolio is unconstrained by capitalisation and also by country and sector.

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Philosophy

The Merian China Equity Fund is managed by Ping An of China Asset Management (Hong Kong), part of Ping An, one of China’s (and the world’s) largest insurance groups. The fund aims to give investors access to a diversified portfolio that leverages the managers’ local knowledge to take advantage of opportunities in China. The managers pursue an approach that allows them to generate alpha from both quantitative and fundamental analysis. The fund invests predominantly in large and medium-sized companies, blending top-down allocation and bottom-up stock selection, with a disciplined risk management overlay.

Investment team

The fund is co-managed by the highly experienced Vincent Che and Eddie Lau of Ping An of China Asset Management. The fund managers are supported by Brenda Tang, senior market strategist, Vivien Hu, senior research analyst, and Harrison Chiu, portfolio associate, equity investment. They hold regular calls and meetings with economists and regional experts across the Ping An group.

Capabilities
  • Chinese equities

    Merian China Equity Fund

    The managers focus on predominantly Chinese companies that, they believe, display potential for earnings growth. This is based on his view that positive earnings surprises drive outperformance. Companies that have a strong brand or franchise are also attractive, particularly in an economic downturn when businesses are more resilient. The managers will consider investing in companies listed in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

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