Western Cape Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  10 Jul 2011

INVESTMENT: Cape Town's Kokkie Kooyman World's Best Fund Manager


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For the second year running, Sanlam Investment Management (SIM) Global’s Kokkie Kooyman of Cape Town was named the top global financial fund manager in the prestigious Investment Week Fund Manager of the Year Awards. Kooyman’s Global Financial Fund has outperformed its peers over one and three years as well as over longer periods.

Investment Week is the leading weekly investment journal in the UK. Its annual awards, held in London last night, aim to highlight funds which have consistently outperformed over a three year period and the judges also take into consideration how the outperformance was achieved, i.e. how consistent the selection is and whether the performance is sustainable.

Kooyman believes his team’s ability to find smaller growth companies that were unaffected by the global turmoil as well as mispriced ‘gems’ all over the world is what sets them apart. “Our approach has remained consistent since we started the fund in 1999. We compare and invest globally – as opposed to many of our competitors who only look at developed market banks. I have been visiting banks in Indonesia, Thailand, Hong Kong and China since 1995 and this has given me a very deep understanding of the banking sectors in these markets. Banks in the UK and US were added to my ‘radar’ in 1997 so we were probably ahead of our competition in terms of the developed markets too.”

He said his fund was well placed to avoid big events over the past year such as Europe’s problems, hiking interest rates in China and India and natural disasters in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, the USA and Chile. “We had no investments in Japan, Greece, Portugal or Spain. Our investments in India did cause some short term performance dips earlier this year, but we are still certain that the investments were sound and would bear fruit in the coming months and years.”

When choosing investment companies, Kooyman looks firstly at what drives company management. “We explore whether they are rational and ethical when considering capital allocation. We also look for companies that consistently generate a high return on their capital (and preferably pay a large percentage of that to investors as a cash dividend) and are obviously valued incorrectly in the market.”

Kooyman currently favours, Indonesia and Japan. Some of his key selections over the last year were: BFI Finance (Indonesia +52%); World Acceptance Corp (USA, +50%); Adira Dinamika (Indonesia, +31%); WR Berkley (USA, +21%), Parana Banco (Brazil, +17%); Scor (France, +18% incl. 6% dividend payout). (Percentages are price moves from 01 Apr 2010 – 31 Mar 2011.)

Kooyman has managed the Global Financial Fund for more than 11 years and during that period it has achieved a compound annual return of 16 percent in US dollar terms for investors and the fund has also ranked in the top three financial funds over the past seven years.

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