Global Equity Fund

June 30, 2021

Market Context

  • Global stocks, as measured by the Morningstar Developed Markets Index, were up 5.7% in Canadian dollar terms in the second quarter.
  • Returns were solid across most regions, with Canada and the U.S. leading the way.

Portfolio Specifics

  • The fund holds 43 stocks, of which 16 are based in the U.S., 15 in Europe, 7 in the U.K., 4 in Asia, and 1 in Canada.
  • The portfolio has had a solid year thus far. The global economy is rebounding nicely as the massive vaccine effort is curtailing the virus. Companies that were impacted the hardest during the lockdown phase continue to be among the top performers in 2021. Examples include Schlumberger (oil services), BrightSphere Investmement Group (asset management), Howmet (jet engine parts), Elis (linen, catering & hospitality services), and Berkshire Hathaway (conglomerate).
  • Spire Healthcare was the fund’s standout in Q2. Spire operates private hospitals in the U.K. The company received a takeover bid from an Australian firm, driving its share price 45% higher. The deal has yet to go through as many shareholders oppose it, feeling the stock is still undervalued. Spire has faced its share of challenges since it was added to the fund in 2018, but is now up 75% over our holding period.
  • The manager, Velanne Asset Management, was active in the quarter, primarily adding to existing holdings including Vistra, Informa, Safran, Dairy Farm International, Stella-Jones, Attendo, and Norway Royal Salmon. The latter two stocks were among the fund’s weaker performers. Attendo operates elderly care facilities in the Nordic region and has been impacted by Covid. Likewise, Norway Royal Salmon has suffered from prolonged restaurant closures (a key source of revenues). The fundamentals of both companies are solid, however, and additional shares were purchased at attractive prices.
  • Two new stocks were purchased: Grifols and Huntington Ingalls. Grifols is a leader in plasma-based pharmaceuticals. This is an industry that is dominated by three players (resulting in strong pricing power) and has high barriers to entry. Huntington Ingalls is America’s largest military shipbuilding company. The firm generates strong revenues and has a significant order book.
  • Two holdings were sold based on strong performance, Stericycle and Zimmer Biomet, while the decision was made to move on from Northern Ocean at a loss.
  • The fund currently has a cash position of 3%.

Positioning

  • The fund is focused on quality companies that generate large amounts of cash flow but are facing temporary headwinds and are trading below their true value. Key areas of investment include industrial goods & services, financial services and healthcare.

Commissions, trailing commissions, management fees and expenses all may be associated with mutual fund investments. Important information about the Steadyhand funds is contained in our Simplified Prospectus. Please read the prospectus before investing. Mutual funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently, and past performance may not be repeated.