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Thesis Team Objectives Strategy Holdings Realized Performance Key Themes Fund Focus Risk Factors Investment Going Forward Portfolio Sweet Spot Sectors Exit Strategy Trade Executions Stock Performance Sector Performance A Word from the Team Bibliography

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Interim Report
lished companies, and for this reason we will only be investing in large cap stocks for this fund. Furthermore we aim to strike the perfect balance between keeping low-costs and diversifying risk by having an optimum level of portfolio concentration in context to the industry. The team behind the fund have no particular allegiance to the ideas of strong-form market efficiency, we believe markets trend and exploitable seasonal anomalies continue to crop up. As such we see opportunities for capital appreciation and market out-performance by segregating the portfolio between value and growth stocks in liquid UK large cap equities. To eliminate the risk of serious capital loss, we have utilised market timing strategies as well as downside risk management.

UK Leveraged and Diversified Large Cap Alpha Fund
Our Investment Thesis
The UK Leveraged Diversified Large Cap Alpha fund from the sterling group of portfolio managers, The ICMAniacs, seeks to achieve medium term capital growth through a sector diversified portfolio of UK-listed equities. As managers we believe superior performance can be ascertained through a combination of top down economic and sector analysis, strategic asset allocation and highly focused security selection. We will be selecting companies listed on the UK stock exchange. As indicated by our analysis and screening, we will be buying a variety of companies from various sectors of the FTSE 100, given this index makes up approximately 81% (FTSE, 2013) of company value in the UK market , gives ample opportunity to invest in firms with exposure to domestic and international markets. Smaller cap stocks offer more concentrated exposure to the UK equity market, however due to this and their lack of liquidity; they tend to be riskier investments than larger more estab-

We admit that markets in recent years have been increasingly correlated and driven by macro events, to manage such systematic risk - we adjust our degree of market risk appetite accordingly through top down analysis. 1

Your Investment Team
George Cotton Managing Director and Portfolio Manager

Luke Bailey
Quantitative Analyst

Victor Kerezov
Chief Economist

Nitesh Patel Trade Execution & Performance Analyst

Lewis Freeman Risk Associate & Strategic Analyst






The Portfolio weights and number of shares held on February 14th at the Fund ’s inception. Our Portfolio uses a 20% gearing ratio, and the reasoning behind this decision, will be explained further on.

Performance of each stock in the portfolio between February 15th and 11th of March

Source: Google Finance 5

Realised Performance
Portfolio Statistics Total Return Standard Deviation (Ann) Sharpe Ratio Beta Portfolio 1.732 18.42 4.00 1.12 FTSE 100 2.76 15.58 6.14 1.00 Some notable occurrences in the fund over the observation period were: IMI Plc, with an increase in share price of 13.18%. During the observation period IMI posted similar profits to the previous year, but the engineering firm also announced that it planned to buyback around £175 million of its shares. (Wembridge, 2013) The early outcome of this was an almost instant 3.25% profit on the releasing of this news. Another big winner in our portfolio was, BAE Systems (BA), for similar reasons. The engineering firm also announced a share buyback plan of up to £1 billion. (Monagham, 2013) They also announced the largest ever longevity insurance deal with another of our holdings, Legal & General. The announcement was a pension plan arranged to insure the firms current pensioners against financial risk as they are living longer than expected, covering around £2.7 billion of liabilities, leading to a profit of 11.74% (Paton, 2013). Legal & General had several other beneficial announcements that led its share price to increase 11.10% during the observation period. During this time it announced an extension of its existing relationship with Newcastle Building Society (Holweger, 2013) and the announcement of its preliminary results for 2012, announcing that their EPS rose 12% along with a full year dividend growth of 20%. The portfolio’s stock with the greatest absolute loss is ENRC (Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation), with a loss of 14.29%. The basic materials sector was one of the worst performing sectors in the FTSE 100 during the observation period. We believe that this is due to the fall in oil and other commodity prices during that time, for which the basic materials sector proved to be quite strongly correlated. The next largest loss sustained by the fund was Aviva Plc. with -11.07%. There are a couple fundamental reasons behind this loss. During the observation period Aviva Plc. posted a loss after tax of around £3.1 billion, after a £60 million profit last year. On the day of this announcement the insurance firm then cut its final dividend from 16p to 9p per share, a cut of 27%, meaning a fall to 19p from 26p. This caused a dramatic stock value drop downwards the following open which gave no opportunity to liquidate and the stock price failed to improve or recover quickly following the drop. (Neligan, 2013)

Bull Beta Bear Beta Jensen Alpha Information Ratio Treynor Measure

1.55 0.91 -0.6012 -1.84 0.66


Key Theme: UK, Eurozone, and US Growth
Looking at the Manufacturing PMI (Purchasing Managers Index) as a measure of business confidence., and a historically useful leading indicator. We can see that: The UK manufacturing sector saw an unexpected rebound in December 2012, the biggest pace of growth since September 2011. This signals sold return to growth for the manufacturing sectors, which has carried on following through January and February, with higher than expected growth in confidence. The PMI is a known leading indicator as it shows confidence in the market, and as such we are optimistic about the UK economy going forward. As for the Eurozone’s PMI, it has looked to have largely bottomed out in the summer of 2012, and even though it has yet to see growth in PMI like the UK and US, it has at least stabilised and looks to slowly move forward positively. After the Great Recession many financial analysts were expecting emerging markets to lead the world economic recovery, but actually the USA economy has experienced a strong improvement stimulated by its unconventional monetary policy tools and huge fiscal stimulus. The risks of inflation from the asset purchases have actually been beard by the emerging markets combined with their strengthening local currencies, EM have lost a bit of their competitive advantage. USA could be on the verge of a manufacturing renaissance, and is likely to continue to be the driving source of innovation and entrepreneurialism. US equities have become a de facto safe haven in the market with the emerging markets slowdown and the Euro zone debt crisis. As of December 2012, the US achieved a 7 month high in the Manufacturing PMI, reflecting a solid extended period of expansion. A reported increase in new orders for 20% of firms, shows an accelerating pace of growth which in turn following by approximately 12% of firms hired additional staff, which will be explained shortly as to why this is a very positive indicator for the future.

Source: Markit Economics


Key Theme: US/EM Growth Contd.
After the announcement of newest round of asset purchases in September 2012 named by the media QE infinity, the Federal Reserve has said that interest rates will remain at a record low zero until mid 2015 or until the unemployment rate hits the 6.5% target level (Davidson, 2012). With the recent improvement in the US labor market and if we extend the trend line of the unemployment level we suspect that the 6.5% unemployment level will be reached before expectations. The Commodity Price Index is strongly positive correlated to the US 10 year yields and if interest rates start going up, inflation and commodities will pick up as well. We don’t really expect that China will enter into its own recession, because of the amount of tools their policymakers have (currently their interest rate is at 6%). The Chinese are becoming more liberal and want to develop their capital markets, which will stimulate the growth in country and Asian continent. Emerging markets have an expanding middle class and in the coming years their GDP is going to be sustained by the rapidly growing consumption. That is why we have decided to overweight the basic resources and healthcare sectors, as growth in this sector will be good going forward as the wealthier middle classes can afford more healthcare products and services.

A Map For The Road Ahead
The below is an analogue study of the last 10 years of UK consumer confidence overlaid onto Japanese consumer confidence from 1986 onwards. This provides us with a compelling perspective of how consumer expectations have reacted in a similar environment stimulated by the same economic shocks like a domestic housing bubble, a Financial crisis, a European currency crisis and a deleveraging cycle. Consumer confidence is a leading economic indicator of the economy and socionomics proposes that social mood drives financial, macroeconomic and political behaviour. In both periods the UK stock market traded in a narrow range that was followed by a breakout to the upside in the early 90's interval. This gives us assurance in our strong bullish conjecture for the UK economy.


Key Theme: Central Bank Policy
The Federal Reserve, the ECB, the BoJ and BoE are all using the same policy cookbook of unconventional accommodative monetary tools. The major central banks are fighting the deflationary pressures through asset purchases (QE and open market operations), The aim of which is to lower yields and lower debt -service costs, as well as indirectly putting downward pressure on the exchange rate thus stimulating exports. These asset purchases raise the prices of financial assets (Government debt and mortgage securities); as a result boosting financial wealth of the society with a combination of lowering debt costs unconventional monetary policy actually increases consumption through the wealth effect. Central banks have started to give forward guidance which ensures interest rate expectations and price stability. As well as quantitative easing central banks have used sterilized asset purchases like the Operation Twist and Outright Monetary Transactions that seek to further decrease long term yields. The unprecedented monetary policy tools prevented the financial crisis to turn into a depression. Even though mass media claims central banks have started currency wars that can result in hyperinflation and another recession, the lessons from the Great Depression are that the increase in the money supply and the devaluation of currencies like the abolishment of the gold standard stimulate growth and provide support for financial markets. Recent hawkish statements from BoE governor Mark Carney recently sparked a sharp devaluation in the GBP in USD between October 2012 to today. Source: Yahoo Finance pound as demonstrated above, this will likely be a boon to exporting firms in our large cap stock universe.

Key Theme: Deleveraging
Many developed economies have been suffering under the weight of a financial deleveraging at the private level as banks try to shore up their balance sheets. The UK has undergone significant reductions in household debt levels over the last 5 years, typically deleveraging cycles last 6 to 7 years. The negative impact of this has been partially absorbed by ever increasing public deficits bridging the gap, in spite of attempted deficit reduction policies .

Source: BullionVault via BoW


Key Theme: Fund Flows and the Secular and Cyclical Bull Market
Markets have been trending up steadily for almost 3 years, we have included an inflation adjusted FTSE 100 as stock returns typically lead inflation, but in the last 10 years they have lagged. Furthermore we have firmly broken through this descending trendline on the unadjusted FTSE, it is only a matter of time before it is resolved to the upside on this one as well. On an even longer time frame if we observe the S&P 500, which often acts as a proxy for equity markets around the globe, we can see the index has moved sideways for 13 years. It seems reasonable to suggest we have been in a secular bear market which could soon be coming to an end, historically lasting 14.5 years. Though equity mutual fund flows have little predictive ability, they suggest that market participants are far from being ‘allin’ following the recent rally in equity markets, as was the case at these prices at the 2000 and 2007 tops. In fact funds were still leaving equity mutual funds as recently as December 2012. We believe the strong market momentum in January were symptomatic of cash quickly leaving the sidelines and pushing markets upwards.
Source: Ritholtz, 2013

Source: Yahoo Finance

Source: Investment Company Institute, 2013


Potential Risk Factors
Potential UK downgrade For the past couple of months UK government bonds have been slated to have a downgrade looming, resulting in the loss of its coveted AAA credit rating. Due to the strength of the prediction we believe that any negative effect has already been discounted by the market. Therefore if the downgrade were to occur during the investment period it wouldn ’t have an effect. Downgrades of other countries in the past have been seen to not be detrimental to the country involved, often causing a rally in the market. This prediction then became reality on Friday 22nd February, when Moody’s downgraded the UK credit rating from Aaa to Aa1 (BBC, 2013). Italian election The Italian election is likely to cause higher market volatility around Europe. The actual effect on the markets will depend on the result of the election. Markets would likely rally on the centre -right party to winning the election due to tighter fiscal policies and funding reforms. We believe that the election, whatever the result, will cause a blip in the markets due to the uncertainty, but ultimately won’t have a noticeable effect on our portfolio (Fletcher, 2013).

UK triple dip recession From forecasts on the UK economy made at the beginning of the year, the UK will likely avoid slipping into a triple -dip recession, most forecasters believe that the UK economy will grow anywhere between 0.1% -0.3% in the first quarter of 2013. Along with this so far in 2013 there has been a modest bull market. Both of these are positive indications of a recovery, although somewhat uncertain, and a move away from a trip -dip in the UK (McBrides, 2013).

Investment Going Forward
In aggregate we believe the themes outlined earlier are positive for the equity markets and will enable opportunities for positive, inflation beating returns for years to come. However it is as ever important to stay vigilant
Research has shown there is a positive impact on returns of being able to accurately predict the timing of a recession. The table below for the S&P 500 shows that in the past the ability to correctly time equity allocation through the business cycle and predict a recession has a significant effect on the return that can be made, when compared to buy and hold investors. It also shows that even if the timing isn ’t completely accurate, the return that can be made still greatly exceeds the returns of those that buy and hold. The recent announcement of the avoidance of a triple dip recession in the UK, and the potential for growth in the future will ring positively in equity markets. Our positive outlook for the UK economy has been a driving force in our decision to leverage our market exposure upwards by 20%. We believe we are currently in the middle of a bull market and taking advantage of this was an opportunity we could not pass up. Bank and other corporate balance sheets are visibly improving from deleveraging, as well as a reduction in tail risk thanks to hasty sovereign debt bailouts, which allows for an excellent entry point into large cap UK equities . -cycles-and-markets.html? utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+CalculatedRisk+%28Calculated+Risk%29


The Portfolio Sweet Spot
The ICMAniacs feel that a mix of shares which fulfil all three characteristics will provide superior risk adjusted returns for the fund and its clients. For finding equities with significant price momentum and growth we screened for stocks trading above their 200 day simple moving average and a track record of exemplary earnings per share growth. We used the 200 day moving average as it has been empirically shown in Faber’s academic paper “A quantitative approach to asset allocation”, to be a valid risk reduction technique with little adverse impact on return. The remaining half of our equity allocation was dedicated to stocks exhibiting solid value characteristics. One of the screening measures for value stocks we used price to cash flow as it is a measurement of the financial health of a company and its liquidity. Price to cash flow is a ratio preferred by value investors compared to the P/ E because it cannot be easily manipulated by non-cash factors like depreciation. The price to cash flow ratio is independent of the depreciation metrics thus allowing investors to compare companies without having to deal with varying accounting principles or earnings manipulation. We ranked all the FTSE100 stocks by P/CF and took the top 25 for consideration. Historically the stocks with the lowest price to cash flow have significantly outperformed the stocks with the highest both by lower risk beard and higher return earned over a medium term investment. Using the top 25 P/CF companies, we then looked at their dividend yield and then took the best combination of P/CF and DY companies to form the value portion of our portfolio.


Sector Diversification
The team felt it was best to utilise consensus analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg of earnings and sales growth for each sector as indicators of which industries were likely to outperform over the long run, and consequently which ones should be over/under weighted. We concluded that both Telecommunications and Utilities where an unattractive investment, with average EPS and Sale growth values of 0.13% and -2.60% reAll Securities 8.60% spectively. We felt there was insufficient evidence to prove that these sectors Oil & Gas 7.64% would experience significant growth within our portfolio horizon and therefore Basic Materials 11.68% did not meet our investment strategy. Furthermore they have typically been deIndustrials 8.72% fensive sectors with a risk of government intervention, wherein rulings forcing Consumer Goods 11.05% suppliers to give customers the cheapest possible tariff have been enacted.
Health Care Consumer Services Telecommunications Utilities Financials Technology 8.60% 5.04% 0.13% -2.60% 9.34% 7.19%

Then the team computed by what degree each sector’s average earnings and growth was set to outperform the market, then over or underweighted accordingly.

This is easily seen by comparing the earnings and sales growth table (left) to the FTSE 100 sector weightings (lower left) in conjunction with our own portfolio Bloomberg Consensus sector earnings/sales weights. growth estimates for the next 3 years

Aside from ensuring the selected equities have differing performance profiles as characteristically value and growth stocks do, and are from a broad range of industries, the team used mean-variance optimisation techniques. Expected returns and betas were derived from the CAPM. Market risk premium was estimated to be 4.76% and derived from current market volatility indexes.


Exit Strategy
Stock Admiral Group PLC ARM Holdings PLC Aviva PLC Astrazeneca PLC BAE Systems PLC British American Tobacco PLC BG Group PLC Weight 2.28% 0.97% 7.61% 1.10% 2.93% 5.10% 2.50% % Change Needed 22.72% 24.03% 17.39% 23.90% 22.07% 19.90% 22.50% Our portfolio will be subject to semi -annual rebalancing. This table shows the loss required in any of the stock ’s share prices for an immediate stock dump from the portfolio, within the re-adjustment intervals. In the situation that a stock is dropped then any recuperated funds will be invested in cash until the next 6 month review, at which the time any outstanding cash will be reallocated. The method used to calculate these percentage changes has taken into account the exposure we have in each stock, so we are able to quantify the kind off losses the portfolio is able to withstand depending on the exposure the portfolio has to each individual stock. We feel this has been achieved without running the risk of being stopped out of a stock just through its day to day fluctuations and will only close a position in a stock if it has entered a serious downtrend. There are many benefits to having a form of stop loss included in our portfolio. Primarily they are a form of preventing catastrophic losses. If a stock drops a certain percentage below the price it was bought at then the stop loss closes the position to prevent further losses, preventing as much downside risk as possible. With the inclusion of a stop loss the portfolio does not need to be constantly monitored. This means that the portfolio can follow a semi-annual rebalancing with the knowledge that not one individual stock’s loss will compromise the return of the entire portfolio.

BHP Billiton PLC
BP PLC CRH PLC Diageo PLC ENRC PLC EVRAZ PLC GlaxoSmithKline PLC IMI PLC Legal & General Group PLC

6.70% 1.28% 2.90% 2.72% 1.49% 3.91% 3.45% 8.03%

18.30% 23.72% 22.10% 22.28% 23.51% 21.09% 21.55% 16.97%

Marks and Spencer Group PLC
Petrofac Ltd Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC Royal Dutch Shell PLC Reed Elsevier PLC Rio Tinto PLC J.Sainsbury PLC Schroders PLC Smith & Nephew PLC Tate & Lyle PLC Vedanta Resources PLC

3.24% 2.72% 6.72% 2.47% 5.08% 3.13% 5.00% 3.67% 7.48% 3.75%

21.76% 22.28% 18.28% 22.53% 19.92% 21.87% 20.00% 21.33% 17.52% 21.25%


Trade Execution
For trade execution on the Stocktrak platform we utilised the historical studies of daily stock market performance over the last 21 years, contained in this year ’s Stock Trader’s Almanac. This is predicated on the fact that stock market anomalies continue to exist (Latif et al, 2011). Since we were constrained to execute in the two week period from February 1 st to 15th, we chose to execute when the market was historically likely to have a rough day and hit a low which happened to be Then we further drilled down into the half hourly performance of the market indexes to find the perfect execution point, 2:30pm seemed more appropriate than trying to navigate an opening gap. Date 1 2 3 4 5 Jan H 66.7 66.7 47.6 S Feb 71.4 S S 52.4 42.9


7 8 9 10 11

52.4 33.3 52.4 52.4 52.4 S S

52.4 42.9 S S 57.7 57.1 61.9

Half hourly performance probability graph, number indicates proportion of times market moved higher in the following half an hour over a 21 year period of data Source: Hirsch 2012

12 13




When considering the best times for best execution there is always the option to place a limit order, so the position is taken out at the lowest hypothesised price over a period of time. The decision was made not to place limit orders as there was only a two week window to execute our trades, and any stocks that hadn’t hit the limit order in that time would have had to been bought on the final day of the execution period. The issue with this is that on the final day of the period the stock could have been trading at a much higher price, making it difficult for that stock to make a significant return. The team was very willing to pay for immediacy in this case.

Market probability calendar based on 21 year period from the Stock Trader’s Almanac 2013, number indicates proportion of times market closed up on the day Source: Hirsch 2012


Equity Performance Table


Sector Performance Table


A final word from the team
Managing Director & Portfolio Manager
Though in this instance the portfolio underperformed our benchmark, we believe this was in part due to unforeseeable problems with individual equities we were exposed to which our screens could not have foreseen. A broader base of diversification would on paper have mitigated such losses, but factoring in commissions, tracking error and slippage would have eaten away at any returns as well.

George Cotton

Quantitative Analyst
Our sector weighting formula enabled us to be heavily exposed to industries with long term profit potential based on consensus forecasts, however short term correlations with hard hit commodities meant our basic materials allocations suffered. The Optimisation procedure also led to overexposure to stocks with historically low volatility, which became extremely volatile following fundamental announcements (Aviva).

Luke Bailey

Victor Kerezov
Our bullish conjecture regarding the improving macroeconomic fundamentals of the domestic and global economy seem to be in the process of being realised and discounted in the rapid upward price movements of the last few weeks. Cash appears to be leaving the sidelines and rotating out of overvalued bond markets as risk appetite improves. This bodes well for equity markets in the near and intermediate term.

Chief Economist

Trade Execution & Performance Analyst
Our execution procedure was effective in tactically allocating the portfolio in the short term, we managed to avoid any severe drawdown in NAV over the performance period. An overview of our sector performance suggests we missed out on a source of solid returns, the utilities and telecoms sectors, in spite of this exposure to any large losses was still diversified away.

Nitesh Patel

Risk Associate, Strategic Analyst
My role within the team was split into two main purposes; firstly as the Portfolio Risk Associate I was responsible for ensuring that all exposures contain a tolerable amount of risk to match our customers needs, this was a success we kept the portfolio beta at 1.12, well below the target. Secondly as Strategic Analyst it was my role to ensure that trade execution was completed at the most efficient hour within our trading dates, and that all trades are correct, minimising the chance of slippage.

Lewis Freeman


BBC (2013) ‘UK loses top AAA credit rating for the first time since 1978’ BBC News, 23 February. Available at: news/business-21554311 (Accessed: 26 February 2013) Bodie, Z., Kane, A., Marcus, A. (2011) Investments and Portfolio Management. 9th edn. New York: McGraw Hill. Darwall, A. (2013) ‘Citywire Investment Brief’ Citywire. 2013. Davidson, P. (2012) ‘Fed ties interest rates to 6.5% unemployment’ USAToday, 12 December [Online]. Available at: http:// -buys-treasuries/1762459/ (Accessed: 26 February 2013). Fletcher, M. (2013) ‘FTSE 100 Shrugs off Italy woes but ENRC drops after asset write -off’ The Guardian, 27 February [Online]. http:// -100-recovers-italy-enrc (Accessed: 28 February 2013). FTSE (2013) FTSE UK Index Series. Available at: (Accessed: 10 March 2013) Hirsch, J. (2012) Stock Trader’s Almanac 2013 (Almanac Investor Series). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. Holweger, M. (2013) ‘Newcastle Building Society extends relationship with Legal & General ’ Legal & General Group PLC, 1 March [Online] Available at: -centre/press-releases/2013/group-news-release-1143.html (Accessed: 2 March 2013) Investment Company Institute (2013) ‘Estimated Long-Term mutual fund flows’ ICI, 13 March [Online]. Available at: http:// (Accessed: 16 March 2013). Latif, M., Arshad, S., Fatima, M., Farooq, S. (2011) ‘Market Efficiency, Market Anomalies, Causes, Evidences, and Some Behavioural Aspects of Markets Anomalies’ International Institute for Science, Technology & Education, [Online]. Available at: (Accessed: 1 March 2013) Launder, K. (2013) ‘2013 A Chance for Optimism’ Schroders Dialogue Winter 2013.

McBrides, B. (2013) ‘Business Cycles and Markets’ Calculated Risk’ 3 March [Online]. business-cycles-and-markets.htm (Accessed: 14 March 2013)
Monagham, A. (2013) ‘BAE shrugs off revenue fall with £1bn share buyback ’ The Telegraph, 21 February [Online]. Available at: (Accessed: 1 March 2013) Neligan, M. (2013) ‘Aviva slashes dividend to accelerate recovery plan ’ Reuters, 7 March [Online] Available at: article/2013/03/07/uk-aviva-results-idUKBRE92608F20130307?type=companyNews (Accessed: 7 March 2013) O’Shaunghnessy, J. (2011) W hat works on W all Street. 4th edn. New York: McGraw Hill. Paton, M. (2013) ‘Legal & General Group Plc Lifts Dividend By 20% To Yield 4.7%’ The Motley Fool, 6 March [Online] Available at: (Accessed: 8 March 2013)

Ritholz, B. (2013) ‘Is the secular bear market coming to an end?’ Ritholtz, 4 February [Online]. Available at: blog/2013/02/is-the-secular-bear-market-ending/ (Accessed: 24 February 2013).
Wembridge, M. (2013) ‘IMI launches £175m share buyback’ The Financial Times, 7 March [Online]. Available at: cms/s/0/4aa4d0a8-871d-11e2-bde6-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2NoanbkKH (Accessed: 12 March 2013)