South African fund manager Kokkie Kooyman was last week named the top global fund manager in the financial category by UK-based publication Investment Week.
Kooyman is the global fund manager at Sanlam Investment Management (SIM) Global and was the only nominee from South Africa at the awards.
He has managed the Global Financial Fund for 10 years and during that period it has achieved a compound annual return of 14% in US dollar terms for investors, despite the two bear markets that occurred over the decade.
The award-winning fund has also consistently ranked in the top three financial funds over the past six years. Other funds in his category included Hiscox Far Eastern Financial and Jupiter Financial Opportunities.
“We look to invest in companies with a track record of good growth and more predictable prospects, led by strong and knowledgeable management, a good ‘moat’ and attractive valuation (normally a low price to net asset value).
“The companies are usually below the radar of other investors and/or brokers; therefore we visit these companies and speak directly to management in order to better understand their business and the country and industry they operate in. Currently, we believe that Turkish and Indian banks are being misunderstood by the market. Both countries have populations with low debt levels and very underdeveloped financial markets and for that reason, those are the countries I would pick to invest in right now,” says Kooyman.
On investing in European banks, Kooyman says various governing bodies have started taking the corrective steps to address their problems, but considerable pain and uncertainty still lie ahead.
He adds that the voters in each country will most importantly have to decide whether to persist with the reform process when the situation worsens. He says: “The European banks are undervalued, so a lot of bad news is already priced in. But we still think it is wise to exercise patience before investing.”
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