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Collective Investments
Sunday, February 1, 2004

The past year has been an exceptional one for Sanlam Collective Investments. Not only was the Sanlam Select Trust ranked as the best-performing fund overall in the unit trust industry for the year ended 31st December 2003, but Sanlam’s Gilt Fund as well as the Income Fund ended first in their respective categories for the year. Sanlam Collective Investments also holds two second positions with Sanlam Provider Trust and Sanlam Inflation Linked Fund.

Tienie van der Mescht, managing director of Sanlam Collective Investments, says he is confident that the turnaround in performance over the past two years will be sustained. “Our asset managers are committed and focused on building an exceptional three-year track record for unit trusts. According to our own calculations, our position in the Plexus rankings, which should be announced soon, should also improve.”
Ricco Friedrich who manages the best-performing Sanlam Select Trust is thrilled with the whopping 43% return for 2003. The fund also outperformed its benchmark small cap index with a three-year return of 85%. He says the fund is managed according to the house philosophy of pragmatic value. “We are very careful in our approach to investing in businesses which have further downside potential. In this way we achieve the maximum benefit from those companies that perform well.
“No one can predict whether this can be repeated, but one must bear in mind that in 2003 a number of factors favoured small cap shares. These included the recovery in the R/$ exchange rate, the drop in interest rates and the very attractive valuations, which we started with.”
According to him the Sanlam Select Trust is currently well positioned to benefit from the lower interest rate environment through exposure to the construction and retail sector.
Mr van der Mescht said that as all leading indicators are pointing towards a good year for equity markets, investors should consider moving their investments into equity-based unit trusts.  “Our Inflation Linked Fund posted a return of 17,81% for the year ended 31st December 2003 and is an excellent choice for the cautious investor. This fund currently has a 41% exposure to equities.
“We are committed to making 2004 an even better year. The recent appointment of Kokkie Kooyman as part of the skilled unit trust portfolio management team is certainly exciting news for Sanlam Collective Investments,” he added.

Copyright © Insurance Times and Investments® Vol:17.1 1st February, 2004
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