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AXA WF Framlington UK - a year of two halves

Dominic Rowles | Thu 17 May 2018

Investments can go down as well as up so there is always a danger that you could get back less than you invest. Nothing here is personalised advice, if unsure you should seek advice.
  • Chris St John identifies themes and invests in companies that could benefit
  • The fund performed in line with the broader UK stock market over the past year
  • We think the manager can deliver strong returns over the long term

Our View

The UK is home to some outstanding companies. From those that have been doing business at home and abroad for centuries, to smaller businesses with the potential to be the giants of tomorrow. This provides a rich hunting ground for investors in the UK.

Chris St John, manager of the AXA WF Framlington UK Fund is one of our favourites. He is a proven, well-incentivised fund manager with the freedom to invest across large, medium-sized and higher-risk smaller UK companies. He has the support of a well-resourced team and other AXA fund managers.

The fund is fairly small in size. This means it's agile enough for the manager to take advantage of almost any opportunity. We expect the fund to deliver strong returns over the long term, although there are no guarantees. It features on the Wealth 150+ list of our favourite funds across the major sectors.

How has the fund performed?

The past year was a tale of two halves.

The first half was strong and the fund outperformed the broader UK stock market. Engineering consultancy business IQE was one of the fund’s strongest performers. Investments in payment processing companies Paysafe and Worldpay also performed well when they had takeover offers from competitors.

In the second half of the year, the fund underperformed the UK stock market. The share price of alcoholic drinks distributor Conviviality dropped in March after it released a profit warning. The manager sold his investment in response to the news and the company later went into administration.

Annual percentage growth
Apr 2013 -
Apr 2014
Apr 2014 -
Apr 2015
Apr 2015 -
Apr 2016
Apr 2016 -
Apr 2017
Apr 2017 -
Apr 2018
AXA WF Framlington UK N/A* N/A* N/A* 20.5% 8.2%
FTSE All-Share 10.5% 7.5% -5.7% 20.1% 8.2%

Past performance is not a guide to the future. Source: Lipper IM to 30/04/2018.

*Full year data before April 2016 is not available for this fund.

Chris St John has managed UK funds for more than a decade. Our analysis of his long-term track record shows he's added value by investing in companies with outstanding prospects. We expect this to drive future returns, although there are no guarantees.

How is the fund invested?

Chris St John identifies themes, and invests in companies he thinks will benefit as the theme develops. Current themes include companies that use technological innovation to win business from competitors.

Online travel agent On the Beach is an example. The company’s competitors include Thompson and TUI. Both businesses own fixed premises and spend a lot of money on staff. On the Beach is an online-only business. This means its costs are lower and it can charge lower prices to its customers. This helps it to win business from the competition.

Another theme is companies that offer market–leading levels of service. An investment in Marshalls fits this theme. The company makes paving slabs, which is an industry where it is difficult to stand out from the crowd. But the company has pioneered new ways of laying their slabs more quickly and efficiently which sets them apart from their competitors.

Please note the AXA WF Framlington UK Fund is an offshore fund so investors will not be protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

Please read the Key Features/ Key Investor Information in addition to the information above.

Find out more about this fund including how to invest

Important information - Please remember the value of investments, and any income from them, can fall as well as rise so you could get back less than you invest. This article is provided to help you make your own investment decisions, it is not advice. If you are unsure of the suitability of an investment for your circumstances please seek advice. No news or research item is a personal recommendation to deal.


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