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ClearBridge unveils inaugural global equity fund

Patrick Buncsi30 April 2024
ClearBridge Growth Fund Launch

Australian investors will for the first time have access to one ClearBridge’s high-performing global equity strategies, the US-based investment firm has announced.

The more than decade-old ClearBridge Global Growth strategy promises investors a “disciplined, risk-aware approach aimed at delivering above-market, growth-like returns with market-level volatility”.

Elisa Mazen, ClearBridge Investments’ head of global growth, said the fund seeks out high-quality businesses with growth characteristics that are trading at a discount.

“We then diversify the portfolio along a spectrum of growth which allows us to perform in a variety of market regimes.”

ClearBridge added: “By identifying companies where the market has mispriced either the magnitude or duration of growth, the portfolio invests in 60 to 100 equities across a spectrum of growth: emerging, secular and structural, thereby allowing the strategy to deliver for investors across various market environments.”

Since inception, in 2012, the Global Growth strategy has grown six-fold, with an average annual gross return of 17.5% over this time. The strategy has also outperformed its benchmark, the MSCI AC World (Net) Index, by 3.0%.

Tech stocks dominate the Global Growth strategy, making up nearly a third (32%) of the fund’s sector weightings, followed by healthcare (17.3%) and communication services (11.9%).

As at the end of March 2024, the top five holdings of strategy were Microsoft Corp, Inc, Eli Lilly and Company, Apple Inc, and Nvidia.

Tech stocks round out the top 10 holdings.

According to portfolio manager Michael Testorf, ESG principles are a core focus of the strategy: “As part of our fundamental research, we engage with our portfolio companies regularly on ESG issues relevant to their business model and profitability.”

Headquartered in New York, ClearBridge is a subsidiary of Franklin Templeton Investments. As at 31 March 2024, the firm reports US$187.9 billion (AU$287 billion) in assets under management globally.

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