Local investment firm Ashburton has been awarded the ‘Best offshore global asset allocation fund’ at South Africa’s Raging Bull Awards, for the third year in a row, in recognition of its Euro Asset Management Fund.

Held last night (26 January) in Johannesburg, the Jersey managed Fund achieved the highest PlexCrown ranking in its respective category, which takes into account risk-adjusted returns and consistency of performance.

The Raging Bull Awards recognise the stars of the collective investment or unit trust industry in terms of top outright performers, best risk-adjusted performers and the best unit trust management companies. The awards cover domestic (South African-domiciled) and offshore funds (funds which are not domiciled in South Africa but are approved by the Financial Services Board and can therefore be marketed to South African investors).

Ashburton added the Replica Euro Asset Management Fund to its Multi Asset Funds range in 2003 and since it was launched, it has returned 46.10%, outperforming its peer group average by 35.47% (source: Lipper as at 31 December 2010). Adopting a diversified approach the fund is restricted to no more than 50 percent in equities, 70 percent in bonds and a maximum of 50 percent exposure outside their base currency.

Ashburton Head of Asset Allocation, Tristan Hanson, said, “We are delighted to have retained this award, yet again, in what has been a very challenging investment environment in recent years. The success of the Fund is based on a rigorous and consistent investment process which is applied dynamically to help our investors profit from the opportunities that arise as market conditions evolve and is a testament to the team’s effective management of the Fund.

Tristan Hanson and colleague Richard Robinson will be speaking on the shifting perceptions of risk and opportunity at Ashburton’s Investment Briefings on Tuesday 15th and Wednesday 16th February at the Royal Yacht Hotel.

(ENDS)

Notes to Editors:
For further information please contact:
Rachel Cashmore / Emily Falla
Lansons Communications
rachelc@lansons.com / emilyf@lansons.com  
020 7294 3663 / 020 7294 3692

*How the Raging Bull Awards are decided
Some Raging Bull Awards and certificates are based on straight performance over three years, as calculated by ProfileData. (ProfileData is the statistics and electronic data division of the Profile Group in South Africa. ProfileData provides data feeds and web services to a range of institutional and corporate clients within the industry.)

Other certificates and the Raging Bull Awards (particularly for the asset allocation funds and more popular sub-categories) are awarded on the basis of their risk-adjusted returns over five years, as measured by the PlexCrown ratings. This is because risk management is a major factor in determining a fund's success.

In order to qualify for a Raging Bull Award or a certificate, or for a management company to have the performance of a fund included in the calculation of its average PlexCrown ratings, a fund must:
• Be available directly to retail investors.
• In the case of an award made on the basis of straight performance, be in a domestic unit trust sub-category (including South African-domiciled foreign funds) that has at least five actively managed funds with histories of three years or more.
• In the case of an award made to a foreign domiciled (non-rand-denominated) fund on the basis of straight performance, the fund must be in a unit trust sector that has at least nine actively managed funds with histories of three years or more.
• In the case of an award made on the basis of risk-adjusted returns, be in a major domestic or foreign-domiciled asset allocation sector or in one of the other larger domestic sub-categories. Sub-categories that have at least five actively managed funds with histories of five years or more are included in the awards.
• Not be a passive, or an index-tracker, fund. These funds are excluded from the awards because their performance reflects market movements, not fund manager expertise.
• Not be a money market fund. These funds are excluded because of the limitations on them in terms of duration and the types of instruments allowed.
• Not be in a varied specialist sub-category or in the domestic asset allocation targeted absolute and real return sub-category. Funds in these sub-categories have different mandates and investment objectives and ranking them would result in false comparisons being made.
• Not have changed sub-categories during the past year. Funds that have changed sub-categories are not eligible for sub-category awards even if the Association for Savings and Investment South Africa has allowed such funds to retain their performance histories.
• In the case of offshore funds, have been registered with the FSB for at least a year.

PlexCrown ratings (a system devised by Plexus Asset Management to rate unit trusts in South Africa.) The PlexCrown ratings use four different measures to calculate the investment performance of a fund on a risk-adjusted return basis.

The ratings measure the volatility up or down compared with the benchmark, the risk of under-performing the benchmark and the manager's skill in adding value above that which the market achieved.

Funds in each sub-category are then ranked on these four measures over five- and three-year periods.

The ratios are time-weighted by applying weights of 60 percent and 40 percent if five- and three-year periods are used or 100 percent of the measures for three years (in the case of younger funds).

From theses ratings a composite rating is calculated and the fund with the highest score in the relevant sub-category will be regarded as the winner.

To determine the leading fund managers, an average PlexCrown rating for each manager is determined from the ratings of all their funds in all the qualifying sectors, with a higher weighting given to the managers' domestic fund ratings.

About Ashburton
Ashburton is an active investment manager, delivering a focused range of products to intermediaries, institutional investors and private clients.

Our distinctive investment philosophy is built on a long tradition of providing consistent returns and superior client service. Our active and unconstrained methodology is applied throughout our range of funds and across multiple asset classes. Ashburton's team of investment professionals embraces the freedom of thought and capacity for bold and insightful action that has enabled us to nurture and build wealth for our clients for more than a quarter of a century.

We are headquartered in Jersey (Channel Islands), with representative offices in Cape Town, Johannesburg and London. Ashburton is proud to be a member of the FirstRand Group, one of South Africa's largest financial services companies.