Rob Burnett will stop managing the Neptune European Opportunities Fund at the end of this year. He’s leaving the company to set up his own business.
Thomas Smith will take over the fund and work closely with Burnett until he leaves. But he’ll use a different investment approach to the one used by Burnett.
He currently applies this approach to the Neptune Latin America Fund, which he’s managed since 2011. He looks for companies across three broad categories:
- Structural growth: Companies with high and sustainable growth prospects. They usually have something unique about them, such as a well-known brand, which can help keep competitors at bay.
- Economic recovery: Companies that have generally been through a tough patch, but are expected to improve. Their success is sometimes dependent on the health of the broader economy.
- Special Situations: Companies going through a change, such as a new management team or a better strategy, which could see them perform better in future.
The fund invests in a relatively small number of companies, which can increase risk.
Smith has built a good track record on the Latin America Fund so far. But he doesn’t have any experience managing a fund focused specifically on Europe. Latin America is a very different market, and we think it takes a different skillset. So we’re sceptical he can adapt so quickly to running a European fund. Past performance isn’t a guide to future returns.
There are plenty of other great fund managers in the Europe sector with much longer and successful track records. We prefer to back those with years of experience investing in this market. Our favourites feature on the Wealth 150+.