(The following statement was released by the rating agency)
Jan 22 - Fitch Ratings has affirmed Sycomore Eurocap's 'Excellent' Fund Quality Rating. The fund is managed by Sycomore Asset Management.
Launched in October 2001, Sycomore Eurocap is a long-only eurozone equity fund investing in companies of all market capitalisations, with EUR375m of assets at end-December 2012.
The fund's investment process is based on a highly-disciplined, fundamental stock-picking approach that has remained unchanged since the fund's inception. Equity research is thorough, combining detailed qualitative analysis of companies and standardised fundamental valuation methodologies. It is efficiently supported by the proprietary research database, which centralises all internal fundamental, quantitative and valuation information since 2001, and imposes a common framework. Stock selection decisions drive the fund's market exposure and allocation. While the fund does not seek to actively adjust its market exposure, stock selection is actively managed. The fund's two senior portfolio managers have autonomy in their decision making while drawing, to a large extent, on the whole team's research and convictions.
After an underperforming first half of 2012; the fund has strongly recovered in the second half-year. Overall it returned 17.8% in 2012, in line with the Lipper category "Equity eurozone". The strong track-record over time is illustrated by a Lipper Leader for Consistent Return score of four over five years and five (best risk-adjusted performing quintile of its Lipper peer group) over 10 years.
Founded in 2001, Sycomore AM (rated 'M2-' by Fitch) is an independent asset management company, 90% owned by its five founding partners and employees. At end-December 2012, Sycomore AM had EUR1.6bn of assets under management, of which 80% were in eurozone long-only equity portfolios.
Fitch's Fund Quality Ratings combine Fitch's experience in qualitative fund analysis with rankings and performance data from Lipper, a Thomson Reuters company. Fitch's Fund Quality Ratings offer an independent, forward-looking assessment of a fund's key performance and risk attributes and consistency of longer-term returns, relative to peer group or benchmarks. The ratings focus on the fund manager's investment process, key fund performance drivers, risk management, and the quality of the fund's operational infrastructure.
For more information, please see www.fitchspotlight.com/FQR.
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