Merian most-researched Singapore fund

Asset Class in Focus

Investors searched for alchemists who could defy the slump in major stock markets last year.

Merian’s Global Equity Absolute Return Fund was last year’s most-researched in the Singapore authorised universe on FE Analytics, according to year-end figures from the research firm.

The $12.8bn fund managed by Ian Heslop, Amadeo Alentorn and Mike Servent aims to deliver absolute returns that have a low correlation with equity and bond markets. The fund received a research figure of 30,844 in 2018, based on the number of times a fund features in a research report combined with the number of times its factsheet is viewed.

One factor for the large number of Merian fund searches could be the publicity last summer after the firm spun out of Old Mutual Global Investors which was headed by well-known fund manager Richard Buxton, who has subsequently stepped back from the CEO role to focus on fund management.

M&G popularity

The plunge in major stock markets last year, and especially in the final quarter, is likely to have been a catalyst for some investors to seek refuge in an alchemy that could transform their ill-fortune.

The Merian fund couldn’t defy the downward trend in markets, and has returned -4.92% in US dollars for the full year to 10 January 2019, according to FE. It invests primarily in large cap stocks in developed markets, and has no specified index.

Other highly-viewed funds were mainly income-generating bond or equity dividend funds. Three M&G offerings  – Optional Income, Global Dividend and Corporate Bond – made it in the top ten, while First State’s Global Listed Infrastructure Fund was the third most researched, reinforcing the theme of pursuing an alternative to the mainstream.


Top 50 Researched – Singapore Mutual Universe

CitiCodeManagerFundSectorResearch Rank




Global Equity Absolute Return


Absolute Return






J670M&GOptimal IncomeFixed Int – Other Currency276722
A6X2First StateGlobal Listed InfrastructureEquity – Other Specialist243153
CCE0M&GGlobal DividendEquity – International235594
FPZLAllianzIncome and GrowthMixed Asset – Cautious212265
G26VTempletonGlobal BondFixed Int – Global204346
ABF5M&GCorporate BondFixed Int – Other Currency198687
FXTUAllianzDynamic Asian High Yield BondFixed Int – USD High Yield189748
FI94FidelityAmericaEquity – North America189009
FT30TempletonGlobal Total ReturnFixed Int – Global1843510
Source: FE. In US dollars. Singapore MAS-authorised mutual funds. 1 Jan 2018 to 31 Dec 2018.

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