A newcomer to the European Funds Trophy list, Gay-Lussac Gestion takes home the trophy for best multi-country manager in the category of four to seven funds. A welcome highlight for this small management company which experienced a turning point at the end of 2020, with the acquisition by its management of the shares of the historic shareholder, the American investment bank Raymond James Financial.
A shareholder change that led to a change of name, since the manager was previously called “Raymond James Asset Management”. Thanks to this operation, the company found itself hands free to develop, particularly in company savings with the launch of a company savings plan and retirement savings plan offer at the end of 2022.
On the other hand, management (1.5 billion euros in assets at the end of 2022) remained unchanged for this specialist in small and mid-caps.
“The year 2022 has been quite complicated for small caps, which now show a significant lag in terms of valuation and performance compared to large caps”, observes Hugo Voillaume, co-manager actions within the company. For several years, funds invested in small stocks have suffered capital outflows that penalize this segment of the stock market.
A defensive approach
However, the management company foresees a return of savings flows. “We are not the only ones to note that the stock market correction was excessive, especially since small stocks benefited less from the rebound at the start of the year than large stocks”emphasizes Hugo Voillaume.
Another confidence factor: the good economic health of the fabric of French and European SMEs. “There is potential in many stocks, but you have to choose your companies carefully, believes Hugo Voillaume. We favor those with a good recurrence of economic performance and which generate cash to invest in their business and thus grow. »
The management company thus advocates a defensive approach, as these companies should behave better in a less buoyant economic context. “We are very attentive to risk, with the desire to avoid sharp declines”, emphasizes Hugo Voillaume. Prudence also deployed in the management strategy. An initial quantitative sorting narrows down the investment universe to valued quality stocks only. An analysis of the fundamentals of the companies is then carried out to select the securities. “We also use quantitative methods to construct the portfolio in order to limit human biases, says Hugo Voillaume. The more the security displays a risky profile, the less we will be able to weight it in the portfolio. »