Oakmark Funds has reopened the $43.2 billion Oakmark International fund, which will be available to all investors starting immediately.
Managed by Harris Associates' David Herro, chief investment officer of international equities, and portfolio manager Mike Manelli, the top-selling equity fund of 2017 had been closed to new investors since January this year as its managers looked to slow flows after it had doubled in size in less than two years.
At the end of 2017 the fund had $49.1 billion in assets under management, taking in a net $9.7 billion over that year, the second best flows for any active mutual fund after Pimco Income’s staggering $31.2 billion, according to Morningstar.
During the soft-close period, the fund still remained open to existing investors, all retirement plans and some fee-based advice programs.
Launched in 1992, the fund enjoyed a bumper 2017 in terms of both flows and performance. Over the 12 months to the end of the 2017 the fund returned 29.8%, placing it second out of 40 International Multi-Cap Value funds tracked by Citywire. It was behind only the JPMorgan International Value SMA fund, which was up 30.4%, but well ahead of the category average’s 22.9% and the MSCI World ex USA index’s 24.21%.
However, the fund has suffered poor performance in 2018 so far. Over the 12 months to the end of November this year, the fund is 34 out of 35 International Multi-Cap Value funds tracked by Citywire. Over that period, it returned -17% compared to the average fund in the category, which returned -11.2% and the MSCI World ex USA NR USD index, which declined 7.78%.
The fund had first soft-closed in October 2013 and then re-opened in 2016 ahead of the retirement of one its managers, Robert A Taylor. At the time it re-opened in 2016 the fund had $23.5 billion in assets under management in its Investor share class.
'We are pleased to reopen Oakmark International given the attractive investment opportunities we see in global equity markets,’ said Herro. ‘We remain focused on generating positive medium- and long-term investment returns.’