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Centaur Asset Management packs a punch at the Raging Bull Awards

27 January 2017Roger Williams, Centaur Asset Management
Roger Williams, Fund Manager at Centaur Asset Management.

Roger Williams, Fund Manager at Centaur Asset Management.

Cape Town based boutique equity and balanced fund managers Centaur Asset Management, have punched above their weight in the fund sector, taking home three Raging Bull awards in the face of stiff competition from heavyweight players in the market, at the 21st Raging Bull Awards held in Johannesburg on 25 January 2017.

Their awards included a Raging Bull Award for top performance by a Domestic Collective Investment Scheme on a Risk-adjusted Basis, for the 5-year period to end December 2016, in the category Best South African Multi-Asset Flexible Fund, for their Centaur BCI Flexible Fund.

They also received Raging Bull Awards for their Centaur BCI Flexible and Balanced Funds, for top performance by a Domestic Collective Investment Scheme, for the 3-year period to the end of December 2016, in the sub-categories South African Multi-Asset Flexible and South African Multi-Asset High Equity, respectively.

Centaur is elated, and with good reason - Their funds have performed outstandingly. The Centaur BCI Flexible Fund has delivered the best risk-adjusted returns over 5 years to 31 December 2016, of all 71 funds in the South African Multi Asset Flexible subcategory, achieving an average 18.9% a year, according to ProfileData.

This figure is well above the performance of the FTSE/JSE All Share Index (13.0% a year over the 5 years) and Centaur’s own benchmark (11.1% a year).

Fund manager Roger Williams says: “The Centaur BCI Flexible Fund has returned annual returns of 13% and 19% over the last 3 and 5 years (to 31 December 2016) respectively with a risk level materially lower than its benchmark. Since inception on the 1 December 2004, this Fund has returned 19% per annum to the end of 2016. Whilst the Centaur BCI Balanced Fund has been running since 1 July 2013 delivering annualised returns of 14% since inception to the end of 2016.”

Williams says the awards are a major accolade for Centaur Asset Management, and are the result of a rigorous investment process and strong team: “We have developed numerous valuation tools which assist us in reading markets correctly. These assist our investment decision making resulting in the Centaur team making a series of calculated moves which have resulted in excellent performance.”

Centaur’s basic philosophy is finding quality shares at the right price. “Good quality is defined by reasonably stable profits, great management, a high return on equity and good growth prospects. Opportunities arise when there is a wide disparity between our estimate of the value of a share and the market price.”
As part of their investment strategy, the Centaur team focus on 11 “areas of opportunity”, including turnarounds, corporate actions, domestic cyclicals and stalwarts.

“I think our investment process is different from our competitors. At the heart of it are multiple heuristic models which identify excellent investment opportunities. Thereafter we employ our own analytical process which we call the ‘Centaur Way’ to thrash out true opportunities and use savvy judgement in our decision making. We are not closet index huggers rather shrewd capital allocators. We are patient, yet bold and are in a continual process of improvement,” comments Williams.

Williams and his team are optimistic on the fund’s prospects going forward, expecting an economic recovery off a low base leading to improved confidence and better economic momentum: “We have identified selected shares with high prospective return potential and are targeting an equity content of over 80% with a focus on South African equities. From a sectoral perspective, we have increased exposure to domestic cyclical shares, which have excellent recovery potential, and select resource counters at the expense of offshore oriented shares.

“Our mission at Centaur Asset Management is to keep doing what we do by implementing calculated moves to offer our clients optimal returns.”

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