March 20, 2019

Review: U.K. Lipper Fund Awards 2019–Shine like a Diamond

by Jake Moeller.

The 29th annual U.K. Lipper Fund Awards event (and the first under the Refinitiv banner) took place at London’s elegant Banking Hall on March 14, 2019. A full house of 150 participants from the U.K. and international fund management industries created an exciting buzz ahead of the premier night of recognizing excellence in fund management.

London’s Banking Hall proved a popular venue. (Henrik Andersen/ Refinitiv)

Lipper Awards now powered by Refinitiv

Leon Saunders-Calvert, Head of Sustainable Investing & Fund Ratings at Refinitiv, introduced the company and affirmed its commitment to the prestigious Lipper Awards, stating: “We’re committed to delivering more content, more fund product offerings, more innovative delivery systems, and more comprehensive global funds coverage than ever before. As the global leader in fund performance data, tonight we celebrate true excellence in the industry.”

Leon Sanders Calvert, Head of Sustainable Investing & Fund Ratings – Refinitiv. (Henrik Andersen/ Refinitiv)

Setting the scene: 2018 – success despite sailing into a headwind

Jake Moeller, Head of Lipper U.K. & Ireland Research at Refinitiv, was the emcee for the evening. He reflected that following record inflows in 2017 of nearly €800 billion, the Pan-European mutual fund industry suffered net outflows of €150 billion in 2018 under increasingly volatile market conditions.

Lipper’s Jake Moeller highlights opportunities in the European funds market. (Henrik Andersen/ Refinitiv)

Despite this, Mr. Moeller highlighted the opportunities existing for fund management firms. He noted while the largest 100 funds in the U.K. contain 39% of assets, only two of the evening’s award winners fell within this segment.

Mr. Moeller also highlighted the potential opportunity for active fund managers in a late-cycle environment by revealing the concentration in ownership in large capitalisation stocks. Apple’s fund ownership summary in Eikon revealed nine of the ten-top fund owners as passive vehicles.

Guest speaker: Dame Frances Cairncross

In a thought-provoking presentation, economist and former journalist, Dame Francis Cairncross, outlined key macro and geopolitical issues which “keep me awake at night.” These included tension in Kashmir, the rise of populism, and the concentration of global debt.

Dame Frances Cairncross addresses the audience. (Henrik Andersen/ Refinitiv)

Dame Cairncross concluded optimistically, citing improvements in life expectancy of women, increasing creativity in markets, and the potential of artificial intelligence.

What does it take to win?

This year’s onstage “fireside chat” saw Mr. Moeller interview Paul Glover, Chief Investment Manager at NFU Mutual (the winner of the Equity Small Group Award), who outlined some of the secrets of his firm’s success.

NFU Mutual’s Chief Investment Manager, Paul Glover chats with Jake Moeller. (Henrik Andersen/ Refinitiv)

Mr. Glover revealed that committed focus on its customer base and a collegiate working environment were instrumental in creating the conditions for NFU Mutual to win its inaugural Lipper Fund Award.

Lipper Fund Awards methodology

Lipper Fund Awards are based on the Lipper Leader ratings for Consistent Return. The awards are calculated using a utility function based on the effective return over multiple non-overlapping periods: three-, five-, and ten-year horizons. The calculations over multiple periods ensure all periods in which a fund underperforms the average of its peer group are identified.

In addition, Lipper uses a utility function based on behavioural finance theory to penalise periods of underperformance, with more significant weightings given to excess negative returns. This methodology ensures the winners of the Lipper Fund Awards are funds that have provided superior consistency and relative risk-adjusted returns compared to a group of similar funds.

The winning mutual funds in the U.K.

Twenty single funds from the largest peer groups by assets under management in the U.K. fund universe were honoured for the three-year category during the ceremony.

Baillie Gifford was well represented this year, collecting the Bond GBP Corporates and Equity U.K. Awards for Baillie Gifford Strategic Bond A Inc and Baillie Gifford U.K. Equity Alpha A Inc, respectively. HSBC also picked up two awards in the Equity Emerging Mkts Global and Mixed Asset GBP Balanced categories with HSBC GIF BRIC Equity M1C USD and HSBC Global Strategy Balanced Portfolio Ret X Acc.

Ballie Gifford’s Grant Walker collects the Lipper Award for Bond GBP Corporates. (Henrik Andersen/ Refinitiv)

First-time winners in the U.K. this year included Lindsell Train Japanese Equity A, which won the Japan category, and LF Miton Worldwide Opportunities A Acc, which won in Mixed Asset GBP Flexible.

The popular Equity U.K. Income category was collected for a second year in a row by TB Evenlode Income A Acc, with Seilern clocking up a third consecutive win in the Equity US category with Stryx America USD.

The group awards

For the prestigious group awards, a large group must have at least five equity, five bond, and three mixed-asset portfolios, and a small group must have at least three equity, three bond, and three mixed-asset portfolios.

Exhibit 1. Group award winners and commendations

Category Winner
Bond Small Lord, Abbett & Co.
Bond Large Royal London Asset Management
Equity Small NFU Mutual
Equity Large Baillie Gifford
Mixed Assets Small Momentum Alternative Investments
Mixed Assets Large Liontrust
Overall Small Banque de Luxembourg
Overall Large Royal London Asset Management


New faces this year included NFU Mutual, which won the Equity Small Group category and Momentum Alternative Investments which won in Mixed Assets Small.

RLAM’s Phil Reid collects the Lipper Award for Overall Large Group. (Henrik Andersen/ Refinitiv)

The big winners of the evening, however, were Royal London Asset Management (RLAM) and Baillie Gifford. RLAM not only collected a single fund award, but won two group awards for Bond Large Group and the coveted Overall Large Group—a second year of winning twice in the group awards.

Baillie Gifford, in addition to two individual fund awards, also collected the Group Equity Large award.

A full list of the individual and group award winners can be found here.

Refinitiv will see you at the Lipper Fund Awards in 2020

Followers of social media can follow some of the posts of the evening on Twitter, with many members of the audience sharing their views via the hashtag #LipperFundAwards.

Lipper by Refinitiv takes this opportunity to congratulate all the individual sector and group award winners. A full photo gallery of the event is available here and we look forward to seeing you all again for another successful evening in 2020.

Lipper looks forward to welcoming you all in in 2020! (Henrik Andersen/ Refinitiv)


Lipper delivers data on more than 265,000 collective investments in 61 countries. Find out more.

This material is provided for as market commentary and for educational purposes only and does not constitute investment research or advice. Refinitiv cannot be held responsible for any direct or incidental loss resulting from applying any of the information provided in this publication or from any other source mentioned. Please consult with a qualified professional for financial advice. 

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