Interactive Investor

ii Super 60 performance review: Q1 2024

Discover how interactive investor’s rated funds performed in the three months to the end of March.

12th April 2024 13:22

by the interactive investor team from interactive investor

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The key factors that influenced the returns of funds on the Super 60 list during Q1 2024 were allocations to the IT and communications services sectors, US equities and exposure to Japan.

Given the above, it is no surprise that the top five performers on the list include two US equity funds, Artemis US Smaller Companies (+16.1%) and Jupiter Merian North American Equity (+11.6%). Artemis US Smaller Companies is managed by Cormac Weldon, who is head of the US team and has managed this strategy since launch in October 2014. The strategy tends to have more of a growth-style bias, but the team do also consider value names where they see compelling upside potential. The resultant portfolio comprises 50 to 70 stocks and tends to have more of a mid-cap bias than an outright small-cap bias. The fund outperformed peers over the quarter through strong stock selection.

Jupiter Merian North American Equity also outperformed peers and the mainstream index (MSCI North America) through positive stock selection. The fund invests across the market-cap scale using a quantitative approach that draws on five distinct factors, including a market-dynamics component that considers momentum trends, short-term signals and dynamic valuation. This enables the model to shift between value and quality to reflect changing market conditions.

The best performer over the quarter was GQG Partners Global Equity(+20.1%). The fund is managed by Rajiv Jain, who established GQG Partners in 2016 after a long and successful career at Vontobel Asset Management where he managed both global and emerging market equity strategies. The team has a growth-oriented outlook, but in seeking to achieve this they adopt a flexible, medium-term investment approach. The portfolio typically comprises 40 to 50 names and the manager is not afraid to back his conviction. Significant positions in IT names such as NVIDIA Corp (NASDAQ:NVDA) and ARM Holdings ADR (NASDAQ:ARM), as well as Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:META), have driven returns over the quarter.

Man GLG Japan CoreAlpha produced a return of 13.9% over the quarter. Jeff Atherton took over as lead manager in January 2021 following the retirement of the fund’s long-standing manager Stephen Harker. Atherton is well versed in the fund’s investment philosophy and process having worked with Harker on this team since 2011 and previously at TCW Group from 2001. The team adopts a distinct value and contrarian bottom-up investment approach that is driven by a belief in mean reversion. There have been some refinements to the investment process under Atherton, who gives more prominence to catalysts and to some quality metrics which are essentially risk controls against value traps, but the contrarian-value nature remains. The fund has benefited from the strength of the Japanese equity market but has also outperformed peers and the mainstream index (Topix), with the value style providing a tailwind.

The final fund in the top five performers is Balanced Commercial Property Ord (LSE:BCPT)(+14.3%). This trust provides exposure to prime UK commercial property with a bias towards central London and the South East, and has a lower allocation than some peers to the industrial sector. The net asset value (NAV) return was just over 1% but the narrowing of the discount resulted in the higher share price return. It should be noted that the discount remains significant at close to 30% due to the uncertainty around commercial property prices.

All the bottom performers on the Super 60 are investment trusts which, to various degrees, have experienced a widening of their discounts due to negative investor sentiment.

Baillie Gifford Shin Nippon Ord (LSE:BGS) showed the weakest returns, with -2.4% NAV performance exacerbated by a widening discount and resulting in a share price return of -8.3%. Despite the large-cap part of the Japanese market performing well, weakness was seen in small-cap growth stocks and this Baillie Gifford fund has a strong growth bias. The small-cap, growth style and element of gearing mean that the trust is regarded as a higher-risk product. Investors should expect it to show significant variability in share price performance depending on market conditions which is often heightened by movements in the discount.

With a share price return of -5.9% the next fund on the list is Henderson Smaller Companies Ord (LSE:HSL). The flat NAV return is close to the Numis Smaller Companies Ex Investment Companies index return and highlights that the weakness in returns here is due to the investment universe and the movement in the discount. Thus, reflecting uncertainty over the future growth prospects of domestic UK companies.

TR Property Ord (LSE:TRY) showed a share price return of -5.1%, which was only marginally worse than the NAV return. This is a portfolio of primarily pan-European property equities, with just a small allocation to UK physical property. NAV returns over the quarter were similar to the FTSE EPRA Nareit Developed Europe Index, and therefore reflected the weakness of the commercial property market in Europe. 

After a weak 2023, Fidelity China Special Situations (LSE:FCSS)(-5%) continued to struggle in Q1 2024. China was one of the weakest equity markets as growth continued to slow and global political and economic conditions hampered sentiment. The returns of this trust reflected the small and mid-cap bias of the fund and, given the gearing which is typically around 20%, performance has been in line with expectations.

The final fund on the underperformers list is Utilico Emerging Markets Ord (LSE:UEM) with a negative return of 2.5%. This trust is managed by Charles Gillings, who has over 30 years investment experience. Although its primary aim is to deliver long-term capital growth, it also provides a quarterly income and has shown a much higher dividend yield (3.9%) than the market over time. It is largely made up of companies found in the utilities, transport infrastructure and communications sectors and, therefore, differs significantly from the average global emerging markets fund.

Top five Super 60 funds in Q1 2024

Group/Investment3 months (%)1 year3 years5 years
GQG Partners Global Equity I GBP Acc20.0542.1169.63
Artemis US Smaller Companies I Acc GBP16.1132.5913.3672.81
Balanced Commercial Property Ord (LSE:BCPT)14.265.8235.38-12.48
Man GLG Japan CoreAlpha Profl Acc C13.9427.9254.4761.23
Jupiter Merian North Amer Eq I GBP Acc11.5928.0746.2097.93

Source: Morningstar - Total Return for OE / Market Return for CE - (GBP) to 31/03/2024.

Bottom five Super 60 funds in Q1 2024

Group/Investment3 months (%)1 year3 years5 years
Baillie Gifford Shin Nippon Ord (LSE:BGS)-8.33-20.92-49.16-32.40
Henderson Smaller Companies Ord (LSE:HSL)-5.88-1.78-28.445.29
TR Property Ord (LSE:TRY)-5.1122.89-6.020.32
Fidelity China Special Ord (LSE:FCSS)-4.96-16.45-48.99-5.93
Utilico Emerging Markets Ord (LSE:UEM)-2.545.9025.5422.55

Source: Morningstar - Total Return for OE / Market Return for CE - (GBP) to 31/03/2024.

Top five Super 60 funds for a five-year period

Group/Investment3 months (%)1 year3 years5 years
Jupiter Merian North Amer Eq I GBP Acc11.5928.0746.2097.93
Premier Miton US Opportunities B Acc9.1128.0432.0397.86
Vanguard U.S. Eq Idx £ Acc10.9726.2542.6797.51
The European Smaller Companies Trust PLC (LSE:ESCT)3.679.068.2784.18
iShares Core MSCI World ETF USD Acc (LSE:IWDA)9.8622.5240.2083.01

Source: Morningstar - Total Return for OE / Market Return for CE - (GBP) to 31/03/2024.

Bottom five Super 60 funds for a five-year period

Group/Investment3 months (%)1 year3 years5 years
Baillie Gifford Shin Nippon Ord (LSE:BGS)-8.33-20.92-49.16-32.40
Vanguard UK Govt Bd Idx £ Dist-1.96-0.86-24.22-20.93
Balanced Commercial Property Ord (LSE:BCPT)14.265.8235.38-12.48
Fidelity China Special Ord (LSE:FCSS)-4.96-16.45-48.99-5.93
Vanguard Glb Bd Idx £ H Acc-0.372.89-8.41-2.60

Source: Morningstar - Total Return for OE / Market Return for CE - (GBP) to 31/03/2024.

Most-bought Super 60 funds in Q1 2024

Most-sold Super 60 funds in Q1 2024

Changes to the Super 60 list (under review/developments)

There have been no further changes in Q1 to the lists since the S60 annual review.

Super 60 videos in Q1

None in Q1. Visit our YouTube channel to watch Insider Interviews with Super 60 fund managers.

The Super 60 investments list is selected and managed by our independent research partner Morningstar and reviewed by our in-house investment experts to help narrow down the wide choice of available investment products. We believe it represents a set of high-quality choices, across different asset classes, regions, and investment types.

However, you should note that the selection of Super 60 investments list is not a ‘personal recommendation’. This means we have not assessed your investment knowledge, your financial situation (including your ability to bear losses), your investment objectives, your risk tolerance, or your sustainability preferences.

You should ensure that any investment decisions you make are suitable for your personal circumstances, and if you are unsure about the suitability of a particular investment or think you need a personal recommendation, you should speak to a suitably qualified financial adviser.

The past performance of an investment is not a reliable indicator of future results, and ii does not guarantee or predict the future performance of the Super 60 investments list as a whole or the constituent investments.

Risk Warning(s)

The value of your investments may go down as well as up. You may not get back all the money that you invest.

Investing in emerging markets involves different risks from developed markets, in many cases the risks are greater.

The value of international investments is affected by currency fluctuations which might reduce their value in sterling.


All funds listed are the Accumulation version of the fund, where available, where any income generated within the fund is reinvested automatically. Income versions of these funds may also be available for investors looking for income generated to be paid directly into their account.

Annual performance can be found on the factsheet of each fund, trust or ETF. Simply click on the asset’s name and then the performance tab.

Any changes to the Super 60 investments list and the rationale behind those decisions will be communicated through the Quarterly Investment Review.

Details of all Super 60 recommendations issued by ii during the previous 12-month period can be found here.

ii adheres to a strict code of conduct. Members of ii staff may have holdings in one or more Super 60 investments, which could create a conflict of interest. Any member of staff involved in the development of research about any financial instrument in which they have an interest are required to disclose such interest to ii. We will at all times consider whether such interest impairs the objectivity of the recommendation.

In addition, staff involved in the production of the Super 60 investments list are subject to a personal account dealing restriction. This prevents them from placing a transaction in the specified instrument(s) for five working days before and after an investment is included or amended and made public within the Super 60 investments list. This is to avoid personal interests conflicting with the interests of investors in the Super 60 investments.

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