In the two years since Amplify Investment Partners was rebranded from Sanlam Select and entered the retail market, the asset manager has seen significant inflows. Assets under management have risen from R8.5bn in 2019, to R23.5bn in 2021, an increase of over 175%. In the past year, assets under management have grown by over 45% as investors recognised Amplify’s ability to produce consistently high returns.

“Our funds continue to deliver industry-beating track records, as the most recent five and seven-year figures to end-August show,” says Marthinus van der Nest, head of Amplify. “Our strategy of picking the best independent next generation asset managers to actively trade in volatile markets has produced consistent returns for our clients.”

Its multi-asset income fund, Amplify SCI* Strategic Income Fund, managed by Terebinth Capital, recorded an annualised 8.9% return against a peer average of 7.4% over five years. The fund ranks in the top 10, relative to its peers, over all annualised periods. Erik Nel, co-portfolio manager of the fund and CIO of Terebinth Capital, believes that the strong performance is as a result of “only investing in high quality and liquid fixed interest instruments which allows us to be agile in volatile markers.”

Among its low equity funds, Amplify SCI* Wealth Protector Fund, managed by Truffle Asset Management, recently acquired its five-year track record, delivering 9.14% compared to the peer average of 6.12% and ranking number two since inception. The fund won first place in the 2021 Raging Bull Awards on straight performance over three years in the multi-asset low equity category. Their recent win at the Raging Bull Awards “proves the point that smaller managers, with their agility, are able to adapt to the difficult markets” according to van der Nest.

It’s other low equity fund, Amplify SCI* Defensive Balanced Fund, managed by Matrix Fund Managers, delivered 8.44% against an average 6.12% among its peers. The fund is ranked number one in its category, providing consistent returns at low levels of risk since its inception seven years ago.

CityWire, citing Morningstar statistics, noted that in the low equity space, two Amplify funds – The Amplify SCI* Wealth Protector Fund and the Amplify SCI* Defensive Balanced Fund – were among the top 10 multi-asset low equity funds with the highest inflows over the past 12 months.

Amplify SCI* Absolute Fund, a medium equity fund which is also managed by Matrix, recorded 8.30% against a peer average of 6.45% since its launch in October 2017.  “To manage an absolute return mandate, the real return objective is the primary goal,” says Lourens Pretorius, manager of both funds and CIO of Matrix. “When we construct a portfolio, and when we think of return drivers, we look at how to attain the absolute return with the highest certainty and lowest tail risk. We tend to veer towards overweight where such a return driver meets the return objective when the distribution of risk around that is acceptable. This is constantly adjusted through continuous assessment and decision-making.”

The high equity, Amplify SCI* Balanced Fund, managed by Laurium Capital, delivered 8.67% against a peer average of 6.11%, ranking the fund in the top 10, since the mandate was established. The Amplify SCI* Flexible Equity Fund, managed by Abax Investments since the start of 2019, recorded 28.15% against the FTSE/JSE SWIX of 22.61% over the past year. Omri Thomas, the portfolio manager of the fund and director of Abax Investments, attributes the market beating performance to an asymmetric return mindset with the goal to capture two-thirds of the upside and limit to one-third of the downside of the market.

“For a relatively small business to have such significant inflows is a real vote of confidence in our strategy, which we have firmly believed in and worked hard at since day one. We are proud to have partnered with some of the best boutique managers in the industry with some of our funds now achieving an exemplary seven-year track record,” says Van der Nest.

Active management has been critically important through the low return environment of the past five years and the volatility of the past year.

Amplify found itself ideally positioned with its choice of boutique managers, many of whom have hedge fund backgrounds, with the ability to act quickly and use a variety of investment tools to excel in a challenging investment environment.

“Being able to successfully steer through volatility, and last year’s crash and the recovery thereafter, is where active management comes to the fore,” says Van der Nest.

The agility that is necessary to succeed in volatile markets has driven financial advisers to look for what boutique managers have to offer. “We believe we are positioned exactly where financial advisers are seeing themselves placing business going forward.”

Amplify also believes in balancing the best growth for hard-earned savings with investing with purpose by supporting global conservation and social efforts in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Amplify directs a percentage of revenue towards these efforts including rhino conservation and addressing social inequality.

*Sanlam Collective Investments

Source for performance and rankings: Morningstar as at end August 202

**Laurium have managed the same strategy since 15 December 2015 | ***Abax took over management of the fund from 01 January 2019

Source: Morningstar | Annualised return is the weighted average compound growth rate over the period measured | Full details and basis of the Raging Bull award is available from the manager

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