3 Top Fund Managers for Your SIPP

Looking for potential investments to add to your SIPP portfolio? On International Women's Day we highlight three female fund managers who are rated highly by analysts

Emma Wall 8 March, 2016 | 4:20PM
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With less than one month left of this tax year time is running out for ISA and pension investors – or anyone looking to boost their savings and reduce their HMRC bill. Read our Guide to ISAs, Pensions and Tax-efficient investing to make sure you don’t get left behind.

Pensions are not a gender-specific issue. We are all living longer, which means retiring later and having to save more in order to secure a comfortable retirement. We are all falling short of requirement; the average pension pot in this country is worth just £40,000. Although savers are no longer required to buy an annuity when they stop working, it is still a useful calculation to ascertain the sort of income a lump sum could provide in retirement. Assuming an annual investment return of 4% and a lifespan of 25 years following retirement, Morningstar calculations show this will provide a retirement income of just £2,560.

But women do fare worse than men in the retirement stakes. According to a report from Aegon, 45% of women do not have have a retirement action plan, women have half the pension savings of men and receive a lower State Pension thanks to breaks from work for child rearing.

Kate Smith, Head of Pensions at Aegon: “The more disruptive working lives of women, cutting hours to care for their children and elderly parents, put them at a disadvantage and means their salaries lag men’s by a fifth. Shorter hour’s means less take-home pay reducing the amount women are able to save in a pension. Most worryingly of all is more than four in 10 women between 40 and 59 years old haven’t started planning for retirement.”

Aegon’s study also showed that women were over-reliant on a male spouse’s income to provide in later life, so on this, International Women’s Day, we are highlighting three women who can help other women secure a better income in retirement; three female fund managers highly rated by Morningstar fund analysts. Female fund managers are hard to come by, making up just 7% of the pack, but these three are among the best in the business. Male investors are free to benefit from their skills too.

Schroder Income Growth (SCF)

This closed-end fund is Bronze Rated and managed by Sue Noffke. Morningstar fund analyst considers Noffke a “talented manager”.

“She is part of the UK Prime team composed of three experienced members, who have been working as a close unit for nine years; Noffke and team member Andy Simpson have been colleagues for over 20 years,” he said. That brings consistency of approach as they are well-schooled in the Schroder investment philosophy for UK equities.

“Performance has been good under Noffke and the fund has outperformed both its UK Large-Cap Blend Equity Morningstar Category peers and its benchmark. In addition, the income target has also been met. We also take some confidence from her longer track record at the Schroder Prime UK Equity fund.”

Kames Ethical Equity

This is a Silver Rated fund run by manager Audrey Ryan.

Kames Ethical Equity is a very good way for ethical investors to gain exposure to UK equities, says Morningstar fund analyst Simon Dorricott. 

“Since January 2000, the fund has been managed by Ryan, who has been involved with the strategy since joining Kames in 1997. Ryan makes good use of the team's stock research and thematic views when constructing the portfolio,” said Dorricott.

“The fund's long-term performance has been strong against the UK flex-cap equity Morningstar Category and the benchmark index, while short- and medium-term returns have also been impressive. There have been some recent tailwinds for the ethical style, but the performance of this fund also compares favourably with other ethically managed products.”

Henderson Strategic Bond

Considered one of the best bond funds on the market, this is run jointly by Jenna Barnard and John Pattullo and rated Silver by Morningstar fund analysts.

Barnard became deputy manager in Nov 2003 and comanager in Jan 2006. Pattullo and Barnard are talented fixed-income managers in Morningstar’s view, and they have worked effectively together for more than 10 years.

The fund has had a strong run over the past three years, helped by a significant exposure to high-yield bonds but investors should nonetheless be mindful of the risks involved here. Given the frequent aggressive allocation to lower credit quality, the fund can be volatile and it will likely experience other periods of underperformance in the future.

Having said that, the long-term track record under the current managers’ tenure is strong. The fund has outperformed the Morningstar Category average and IMA peer group over 10 years.

The information contained within is for educational and informational purposes ONLY. It is not intended nor should it be considered an invitation or inducement to buy or sell a security or securities noted within nor should it be viewed as a communication intended to persuade or incite you to buy or sell security or securities noted within. Any commentary provided is the opinion of the author and should not be considered a personalised recommendation. The information contained within should not be a person's sole basis for making an investment decision. Please contact your financial professional before making an investment decision.

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About Author

Emma Wall  is former Senior International Editor for Morningstar