- Alexander Darwall favours companies that create superior, differentiated products or services, with a market-leading advantage
- A bias towards high-quality companies with sustainable earnings growth has recently aided performance
- Over the long term we feel stock selection has been the key driver of returns
Wider economic threats to global stock markets are a constant, according to Alexander Darwall. Yet there will always be good investment opportunities with successful individual companies. Technology advances, changing consumer behaviour, regulatory interventions, and entrepreneurial flair will continue to generate new and exciting ideas for investors prepared to look.
The manager favours global-facing businesses with strong balance sheets that have proven their resilience even during tough economic conditions. Many of these businesses dominate the niche industry in which they operate and have exposure to some of the faster-growing regions of the world.
Presently the fund has a strong preference for healthcare and related companies. Current holdings include Grifols, a Spanish company that develops, manufactures and markets plasma-based products. Demand for its products is growing consistently, according to the Alexander Darwall, while the business also continues to innovate.
The fund also holds exposure to what the manager describes as 'alternative financials', which contributed significantly to performance over the past year. These include German stock exchange operator Deutsche Boerse, leasing company Grenkeleasing and financial services group Provident Financial.
These businesses are beneficiaries of the new regulatory and market challenges faced by mainstream banks, in Alexander Darwall's view. While larger, old-fashioned banks face constraints, such as higher regulatory costs, demand for financial services, such as lending, remains. This represents considerable opportunity for newer companies unencumbered with greater regulatory burdens.
Our view on this fund
Alexander Darwall has one of the most impressive track records in the European sector. Over the past decade, his Jupiter European Fund has delivered an exceptional return of 162.5%* against 56.4% for the sector average and 59.2% for the benchmark index. The fund has also been one of the least volatile in its sector over this time. Please remember this should not be viewed as a guide to the fund's future performance.
|Annual percentage growth|
| April 11 -
| April 12 -
| April 13 -
| April 14 -
| April 15 -
|FTSE World Europe ex UK||-11.5%||16.7%||18.1%||7.3%||-5.3%|
|IA Europe ex UK||-10.2%||19.2%||16.3%||6.9%||-3.1%|
Source: Lipper IM to *01/04/2016. Past performance is not a guide to future returns.
Over both the short and long term, a bias towards high-quality companies with sustainable earnings growth has aided returns. Over the past year in particular, this type of company has been highly-prized by investors against an uncertain economic backdrop. That said, while the manager’s investment style has helped, we believe stock selection remains the key driver of returns. Please note the fund is concentrated, which enables each holding to make a significant impact on returns however this is a higher-risk approach.
Europe's economy continues to muddle through a period of low growth. However, underneath its wider economic problems, Europe will have its success stories and Alexander Darwall is a manager we trust to harness these over the long term. As such, the fund features on the Wealth 150 list of our favourite funds across the major sectors.
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