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Colonial First State scores highest return

Friday 10th November 2000

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All managers in the Mercer managed funds survey produced positive returns, before tax and expenses, for the September quarter. The return of the median manager was 3.2% before tax and fees.

A strong Australasian equity performance from a portfolio that did not include Telecom helped Colonial First State have the highest return for the quarter with 4.3% before tax and fees.

Returns for the past 12 months ranged between a gross 23.3% return for BT Funds Management (BTFM) and a gross 11.9% return for Tower Asset Management (TAM). The median for the 12 months was 15.9% before tax and fees.

The average exposure to growth assets in the discretionary balanced funds was 57.6%.

Only two managers had less than 30% invested in overseas equities, while the highest exposure to domestic equities was ANZ Asset Management's 20.7%.

Three years ago, only two managers had overseas equity allocations over 30% (TAM and Arcus). Today, TAM has 30% allocated to overseas equities (the third lowest relative allocation). Also TAM has a 1% lower exposure to overseas equities compared with three years ago while other managers have all increased their exposure to this asset class and by 10.9% on average.

ANZ Asset Management was the highest-performing manager in 1997 but is ninth today. In contrast, WestpacTrust was the lowest-performing manager three years ago but is now above median. The most consistent managers, having above-median three-year results in both surveys, are Armstrong Jones, BTFM and Guardian Trust Funds Management.

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