Zenith initiates coverage of the Legg Mason Martin Currie Global Long-Term Unconstrained Fund with a ‘Recommended’ rating


The Legg Mason Martin Currie Global Long-Term Unconstrained Fund has received a ‘Recommended’ rating from Zenith Investment Partners.

Launched in December 2015, the Fund is managed by the wholly owned Legg Mason affiliate Martin Currie and offers investors a concentrated, fundamental, quality growth styled international equities exposure.

Zenith believes “The Fund is an attractive offering managed by an experienced team that employs an intuitive investment process.”

The investment team is led by Edinburgh based Zehrid Osmani, who has over 20 years of investment experience. Zenith has a high regard for Osmani, believing he has the requisite skills and experience to successfully lead the team and manage the Fund.

The Global Long-term Unconstrained team investment philosophy is that companies with high and sustainable returns on invested capital deliver superior outcomes over the long term. Proprietary fundamental research is employed to identify these companies, which the team believe are undervalued by the market. Through a benchmark unaware approach, Martin Currie then aims to build a portfolio of high-quality growth companies that participate in market upswings, while – due to their high-quality characteristics – protecting on the downside. The Fund typically holds 20 to 40 positions and aims to be fully invested, with cash levels held to a minimum.

Zenith reports: “Overall, Zenith believes Martin Currie’s standardised research process provides a consistent and effective framework through which different companies are compared. In addition, we consider Martin Currie’s emphasis on investment sustainability to be a point of differentiation relative to peers.

“The Fund’s investment objective is to outperform the MSCI All Country World (ex Australia) Index $A (before fees) over rolling five-year periods. Since inception, the Fund has outperformed the benchmark and its peer group. On a risk-adjusted basis, the Fund’s Sharpe Ratio has been positive since inception. Thus, investors have been rewarded for the absolute risk exhibited by the Fund.”

Zenith adds: “International equities provide investors with a broad exposure to industries and countries. With such a broad universe, it is expected that managers can deliver superior returns to Australian equities and more conservative asset classes. However, the expectation of greater returns comes with increased volatility, especially when currency movements are considered. Therefore, it is recommended that investors adopt a longer time frame when investing in international equities.

“The Fund utilises a relatively concentrated, benchmark unaware portfolio construction process that may appeal to investors seeking a relatively active and focused exposure to international equities.”

Commenting on the new rating, Andy Sowerby, Legg Mason’s Head of Australia and New Zealand said “Martin Currie has developed the global long-term strategy over the past several years and, in so doing, have created a truly differentiated and compelling investment proposition.

“This strategy was then launched in Australia as a local fund in 2015 and has a proven track record of adding value ahead of both the market indices and the peer group. We are delighted that Zenith have now recognised this offering with a Recommended rating.”

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