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Ben_Kottler_London

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Hi, I'm Cherida Naughton, Public Relations Manager for MFS based in London. Today I'm joined by Ben Kottler, Institutional Portfolio Manager for our Global Equity Strategies. MFS is well known for its global equity capabilities. I wonder if you could tell us a little bit about where our key strengths lie, a little bit about our capability, and perhaps something about the team. We've been investing in global equities for many years successfully. And I think the reason for that success is very much about the broad MFS team and culture. So we have a large number of equity credits and quantitative analysts based around the world who are feeding ideas and debating those ideas on a daily basis. And that gives the teams a great opportunity to find great businesses that are trading at reasonable valuations to hold for the long term. Ben, we've seen quite a lot of market volatility since the beginning of the year. I wonder if you could explain how this might impact our global equity strategies perhaps, where its challenges are and even some of the opportunities might lie. Looking just over the last few months, it feels like a very different environment. But I think in the context of long-term market history, this is a much more normal environment. Volatility is something we should expect as investors, and in a sense as active portfolio managers we should welcome it because it's only through having a wider dispersion between the returns of the winners and the losers that as active stock pickers we can add value for our clients. So it is a more interesting environment, I guess, as the Chinese proverb would go. And it's an environment that is certainly tougher in terms of absolute returns, but I think over the years we've demonstrated that we've done a good job protecting our clients' capital on the downside, as well. And our focus on the quality of business really comes through in environments like this. Against that backdrop, perhaps you could tell us a little bit about how you're positioning the fund. I mean, the fund is very much positioned for the long term. So if I take global equities, for instance, we have over a seven-year average holding period. So a very long-term time horizon. And as a result, our portfolio turnover is relatively low. Having said that though, this might well be an environment where we get the opportunity to buy into businesses that we've admired for a long time but have traded at relatively expensive valuations. So we'll have to see. We're not doing a lot of trading at the moment. But typically this is an environment where you might expect us to be turning over the portfolio a little bit more.

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Posted by: tanbir.johal on Jun 24, 2016

Ben_Kottler_London

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