Guardian Acuity Asset Management Ltd, which manages three unit trusts, passed an important milestone in its short history when it crossed the Rs 5 billion mark in assets under management (AUM) in early October this year. The firm which was recognised as the “Best new asset management company in Sri Lanka 2014” by the prestigious Banking and Finance Review magazine continues to break new ground in 2015 as well. Guardian Acuity Asset Management Limited (GAAM) is a joint venture between Acuity Partners (Pvt) Ltd and Ceylon Guardian Investment Trust PLC. Ceylon Guardian Investment Trust PLC manages over Rs. 33 billion in assets and is a listed subsidiary of the diversified conglomerate Carson Cumberbatch PLC. Acuity Partners (Pvt) Ltd is the joint venture Investment Bank promoted by banking giants Hatton National Bank PLC and DFCC Bank PLC.
GAAM launched its gilt edged money market fund in March 2015 building on the success of its equity fund and its fixed income fund, which have been in operation since 2012. The firm’s equity fund has, up to September, returned 3.29% to its unit holders in an year when the All Share Index of the Colombo Stock Exchange has declined 3.4% in the same period. The more sensitive S&P SL 20 of most traded stocks was down 6.43% in the comparable period in 2015. This is an outperformance of 6.69% and 9.73% against the benchmark indices of the CSE. From its launch date, the Equity Fund has returned on average 17.74%% p.a. well above the benchmark All Share Index.
The AUM of the equity fund has grown 256% YTD for the year , while the AUM of the Fixed Income fund has grown 113%. The newer Gilt edge fund has assets under management of over Rs. 800 million in management.
Speaking to the media, Mohandas Thangarajah the General Manager of GAAM thanked the loyal clients of the company for continuing to place their trust and their investments with GAAM. Continuing he thanked Acuity Partners and Ceylon Guardian Investment Trust PLC for their unstinted continued support in an year in which global events such the devaluation of the Yuan, the potential Greek default and the tightening of monetary policy in the US had a negative effect on capital markets internationally and locally. “I have a small but dedicated team that offers personalised solutions to all our clients and continuously seeks to improve on service quality. Without our clientele and my team this would have not been possible “he further said.
Sumith Perera who manages the three funds said that “With interest rates increasing after being at historic lows over the last few years our money market funds provide a very convenient and attractive return proposition for investors who want to capture the increase in rates. The credit quality of the fund is of a very high calibre with each company going through a thorough evaluation process prior to investing. The equity fund has taken its key exposures in the banking sector, food and beverage sector and diversified sector. We expect these identified stocks to significantly outpace the rest of the stock market in the medium term. By using a disciplined investment approach where companies with attractive growth prospects, strong management and sound financials are selected, the fund is able to provide exceptional returns to investors”
Ms Ruvini Fernando, CEO of Guardian Fund Management stated that “The unit trust industry is at a critical stage in its development in this country. In an environment where affluence is increasing and savers are transforming into savvy investors, the accessibility of capital markets products adds variety and depth to people’s investment choices. We look forward to continued policy level support for the industry in the light of the need for better retirement savings products for our ageing population; as well as in the broad-basing and democratisation of capital markets by making stocks, bonds and debentures easily accessible to the public. Unit trusts have the ability to achieve both objectives sensibly”