Ivers steady on wild ride during first three years

Richard Ivers, portfolio manager for the Prime Value Emerging Opportunities Fund, has notched up his first three years in charge of the small caps investment fund.

Markets have thrown just about everything at investment managers during this time: from flat spots to record highs, and the ‘fastest bear market in history’, which happened as COVID-19 panicked investment markets.

Ivers steered the Prime Value Emerging Opportunities Fund to several key milestones, including being the second best performing Australian equities fund for the 2020 calendar year.

He has delivered returns well above the market by prioritising capital protection. “Protecting capital is the most important step for us because if we minimise losses we maximise opportunities.

“Every market event creates opportunities. The volatility we have seen in small caps across COVID has provided us with excellent chances to invest in quality companies poised to do well during the recovery and beyond.

“But it all starts with a commitment to preserving capital, which means avoiding the speculative stocks and looking through the hype to find real quality.”

Key numbers for the Prime Value Emerging Opportunities Fund:

For the last three years the Prime Value Emerging Opportunities Fund has delivered 20.7% per annum to investors while the index returned 9.1% per annum – this means the Fund has outperformed the index by 11.6% per annum net of fees.

During this three years:

  • The Fund has outperformed 87% of months when the index has fallen (13 months out of 15)
  • Outperformed 52% of months when the index has risen (11 months out of 21)
  • Outperformed 67% in total of all months (24 months out of 36).

The last time the Prime Value Emerging Opportunities Fund underperformed in a falling month was December 2018 – over two years ago.

For the year to 30 April 2021 the PVEOF has delivered 54.91%, outperforming the small ordinaries accumulation index by 15.14%, outperforming strongly during 12 months of rising markets.

The Fund has delivered 13 consecutive months of positive returns, while the index has had three negative months during that 13.

The Prime Value Emerging Opportunities Fund’s last negative returning month was March 2020 (during the COVID crash).

Performance has been achieved at a lower level of volatility than the market: risk, as measured by volatility, (standard deviation) has been 13.8% below the index. This results in a far superior Sharpe ratio, which measures risk-adjusted returns.

Some other highlights:

The Prime Value Emerging Opportunities Fund was ranked the second highest performing of all Australian equities funds for the 2020 calendar year (source: Morningstar).

The Fund topped the Mercer Australian Small Companies (ex-ASX100) survey for the year to 30 June 2020.

The Fund was ranked the highest performing fund for the year to 31 March 2021 by Morningstar in the category of funds which blend growth and value styles.

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