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Tower stands out

Tower Asset Management's investment style makes it stand out from other managers.

Thursday, February 8th 2001, 11:39PM

Tower Asset Management's (TAM) investment style for its balanced funds has made it stand out from the crowd, according to data from Mercer Investment Consulting.

TAM achieved the highest return of all the funds in Mercer's wholesale superannuation fund survey for the three months ending December 31, 2000, because of its relatively high proportion of stocks with value characteristics.

The other feature which makes TAM stand out is its approach to overseas shares. Three years ago it had the biggest exposure of all managers to this asset class, and it consistency produced top returns.

Now though it ranks at the bottom of the table in terms of exposure to international shares.

Mercer says TAM and Arcus Investment Management both had more than 30% exposure to this sector three years ago. Today, TAM, with 31.4% allocated to overseas equities, has the fourth lowest relative allocation.

"Also, TAM has only a 0.4% higher exposure to overseas equities compared to three years ago, while other managers have all increased their exposure to this asset class and by 9.1% on average."

Mercer says the other interesting result when funds are compared over a three year period is who has performed well.

"Armstrong Jones was the highest-performing manager in 1997, but is fifth today. In contrast, Colonial First State was the lowest-performing manager in September 97, but are now fourth and above median.

"The most consistent managers, having above-median three-year results in both surveys have been Armstrong Jones, BT Funds Management and Guardian Trust Funds Management.

In the past quarter the average exposure to growth assets was 56.6%. Only two managers had less than 30% invested in overseas equities, while the highest exposure to domestic equities was from AXA New Zealand, now known as Alliance Capital Management New Zealand, with 20.6%.

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