Posted inHead To Head

HEAD-TO-HEAD: Baring vs Parvest

Fund Selector Asia compares the Baring Europe Select Trust with the Parvest Equity Europe Small Cap Fund.

Fund Performance

Ng noted that although the investment strategies of both funds differ, they operate in a similar fashion when it comes to downside protection. 

A look at the calendar year returns against the respective benchmarks:

   2014   2013   2012   2011   2010 
 Baring   0.9%  31.9%   27.4%   -19.3%   25.4% 
 ESEC  -1.9%   37.5%  16.9%  -23.8%  17.4%
 Parvest  6.44%  25.73%   35.05%   -14.40%   26.69% 
 MSCI  1.87%  33.41%  26.98%  -17.45%  27.70%

Source: Barings, Parvest, FE Analytics


Cumulative returns:

   1 year   3 years   5 years 
 Baring  17.1%   15.7%  10.5%
 ESEC  13.2%  16.7%  7.2%
 Parvest  10.54%   20.43%   15.24% 
 MSCI  6.09%  18.84%  13.77%

Source: Barings, Parvest, FE Analytics 

Ng pointed out the year 2011, which saw both funds outperforming their respective reference benchmarks (though they remained in negative territory).

“In fact, both funds delivered better downside protection in the financial tsunami of 2008 and the European debt crisis of 2011 against their benchmarks. Moving into the recovery year of 2012, both funds also proved that they can deliver strong results,” Ng said.

He believes that the experience of both portfolio managers, especially when it comes to stock selection, is directly related to the fund’s performance.



   Volatility   Beta 
 Baring   11.5  0.8
 Parvest  10.28  0.87

Source: Barings, Parvest, FE Analytics


In terms of volatility, Parvest’s volatility index is lower because of its focus on mid-cap companies as compared to Baring focus on small- and mid-cap.

The Baring and the Parvest funds are rated three and five crowns, respectively, by FE Advisory, which measures the risk-adjusted performance in terms of alpha, volatility and consistency over the past three years. 

The Baring fund’s focus on small-cap companies and its relatively shorter-term perspective contributes to the fund’s volatility, Ng said.

The Parvest fund proves that a longer-horizon strategy can have a positive impact on fund volatility, Ng added.

Manager review

Williams, from Barings, has longevity with the firm and is experienced in the small-cap market. He joined Barings in 2004, having previously worked for eleven years at Singer & Friedlander, where he was head of the firm’s European desk and a member of the investment policy committee. 

He is supported by two colleagues who are dedicated solely to the fund, and he is broadly assisted by seven other colleages who cover the all-cap segment. 

Part of the Mark Allen Group.