- The Pax Global Opportunities Fund underperformed the MSCI ACWI in the first quarter of 2022.
- Global markets experienced heightened levels of volatility over the quarter as inflationary pressures continued to mount. Bond yields rose sharply on expectations of faster and larger interest rate increases and the war in Ukraine has led to an escalation in geo-political tensions. Equity markets were weak, particularly in Europe where disruptions were most acute, while supply side inflationary increases in oil, natural gas and other commodities have raised concerns globally about household spending and consumer sentiment.
- The MSCI ACWI finished lower over the quarter, and the only sectors to post positive returns were Energy, Materials and Utilities due to the benefit of rising oil and commodity prices. Consumer Discretionary, Communication Services and Information Technology were the worst performing sectors.
- Stocks with less economic sensitivity and those backed by solid earnings results tended to perform well over the period. Vertex Pharmaceuticals (Biotechnology, US), a drug development company, produced strong financial results with an improving outlook for pipeline assets outside of the core cystic fibrosis franchise, thus improving diversification and allowing for upgrades to earnings estimates.
- KDDI (Wireless Telecommunication Services, Japan), Japan’s second largest telecommunications operator, benefitted from the relative defensiveness of the company’s domestic Japanese telecom operations amid global uncertainty and news of a share buy-back.
- AIA (Life & Health Insurance, Hong Kong) delivered fiscal year 2021 results ahead of expectations driven by margin improvements from product mix improvement, higher bond yields and lower than expected expenses.
- Allocation was a small positive contributor, as lack of exposure to Energy was offset by positives from the underweight to Consumer Discretionary and overweight to the Materials sector.
- On a relative basis against the MSCI ACWI, stock selection was the largest detractor to performance, led by holdings in the Materials and Health Care sectors. In Materials, the portfolio is underexposed to the extractive, commodity focused part of the market which has performed well. In Health Care, portfolio holdings have been impacted by the market rotation out of higher growth names, as well as, companies with stock specific earnings headwinds.
- Market rotation away from COVID-19 beneficiaries and supply chain issues were factors in the performance of top detractors. Evotec (Life Sciences Tools & Services, Germany) suffered from market rotation away from highly valued growth stocks. This was exacerbated by news that milestone payments would be less than expected following the decision by partner Bayer AG to return the rights to one of Evotec’s development assets. The Portfolio Managers remain comfortable and confident in the operational outlook of the company.
- Croda International (Specialty Chemicals, UK), a specialty chemicals company, was a strong performer last year but suffered as earnings growth expectations were adjusted downwards following the announcement of the sale of its Performance Technologies division and on reassessment of the COVID-19 related revenue potential. This increased the vulnerability of the stock to the sell-off in higher valued growth names as the growth opportunity was reassessed relative to the valuation. The Portfolio Managers remain positive on the company’s outlook as Croda has a diversified portfolio and believe that its healthcare opportunities are broader than COVID-19 vaccinations and that proceeds from the sale of its Performance Technologies division will be redeployed to attractive areas.
- Ecolab (Specialty Chemicals, US), a leader in water optimization, and efficiency solutions across many sectors, pre-announced earnings results and 2022 guidance was below consensus expectations due to ongoing cost and supply issues, exacerbated by elevated costs to expedite deliveries to customers in the wake of Omicron variant related logistics disruptions. As a result, previously implemented price increases did not cover the cost increases over the period, and this is likely to be an ongoing issue for the company. The stock was exited during the quarter.
- The invasion of Ukraine by Russia, higher inflation data and supply chain disruptions have complicated the global macroeconomic outlook. Impax believes that rising inflationary pressures and the prospect of moderating economic growth in some geographies will lead investors to refocus attention on quality companies which benefit from secular growth drivers. The quality characteristics of these companies means they are better able to manage margin pressure during this period of disruption.
- Impax expects that the war in Ukraine and localized lockdowns in China as a result of their zero-Covid policy means supply disruptions and inflation are likely to last longer. As a result, the portfolio has sought to reduce inflation risk by investing in companies with better pricing power, such as rental companies which benefit from businesses outsourcing non-core operations as they seek to reduce costs. In addition, the investment team has sought to reduce the underweight to interest rate sensitive stocks within Financials through a new holding. While economic growth may moderate, environmental policy continues to drive investment in energy efficiency solutions and the portfolio has increased its exposure to names in this space. Finally, recognizing heightened geopolitical tension, the portfolio has added to sectors which benefit from trends of “on-shoring” of critical industries, such as semiconductors.
- Overall, the investment team remains focused on companies demonstrating consistent growth and operational return profiles, coupled with lower debt levels. Areas of interest for the portfolio include beneficiaries of the trends to reduce the cost of delivering healthcare solutions, the accelerating digital transformation of enterprises, as well as companies providing access to finance and businesses enabling the sharing and circular economy.
Performance(as of 3/31/22)
|1-Month||Quarter||YTD||1 Year||3 Year||5 Year||10 Year||Since Inception1|
|Pax Global Opportunities Fund - Investor Class||2.00||-10.59||-10.59||5.12||14.34||-||-||13.25|
|Pax Global Opportunities Fund - Institutional Class||2.06||-10.50||-10.50||5.40||14.64||-||-||13.48|
|MSCI ACWI (Net) Index||2.17||-5.36||-5.36||7.28||13.75||-||-||11.65|
|Lipper Global Multi-Cap Growth Funds Index||0.67||-13.23||-13.23||-4.51||14.65||-||-||12.17|
Performance data quoted represent past performance, which does not guarantee future results. Investment return and principal value of an investment will fluctuate so that an investor’s shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Current performance may be lower or higher than the performance data quoted. To obtain performance for the most recent month-end, call 800.767.1729 or visit impaxam.com
Figures include reinvested dividends, capital gains distributions and changes in principal value.
1The inception date for the Pax Global Opportunities Fund Institutional Class and the Investor Class is June 27, 2018.
Total annual Global Opportunities Fund operating expenses, gross of any fee waivers or reimbursements, for Institutional Class and Investor Class are 1.31% and 1.56%, respectively, as of 5/1/2021 prospectus. Total annual Global Opportunities Fund operating expenses, net of any fee waivers, reimbursements and acquired fund fees and expenses, for Institutional Class and Investor Class, shares were 0.98% and 1.23%, respectively.ˆ
(12/31/21 - 3/31/22)
Sector: Average Active Weights (%)
|Total Relative Contribution (%)|
XOther: ETFs (for short-term cash mgmt. purposes) and Cash & Equivalents.
Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Short-term performance may not be indicative of long-term results.
Portfolio Characteristics(as of 3/31/22)
|Market Cap (weighted avg.)∱||$198,894M||$415,040M|
|Number of Securities||44||2,936|
Top 10 Holdings
(as of 3/31/22)
AIA Group, Ltd. 4.2%, Microsoft Corp. 4.0%, MasterCard, Inc., Class A 3.9%, Linde PLC 3.8%, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd. 3.4%, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc. 3.3%, HDFC Bank, Ltd. 3.3%, IQVIA Holdings, Inc. 3.3%, Schneider Electric SE 3.2% and Analog Devices, Inc. 3.1%. Holdings are subject to change.
ƒWeighted Average is an average in which each quantity to be averaged is assigned a weight. These weightings determine the relative importance of each quantity on the average.
∼Forward Price-Earnings Ratio or P/E FY1 ratio is a ratio for valuing a company that measures its current share price relative to its per-share earnings over the next 12 months.
∘Return on Equity: The amount of net income returned as a percentage of shareholders’ equity. Return on equity measures a corporation’s profitability by revealing how much profit a company generates with the money shareholders have invested.
∞An Ex-Ante Beta is used for Funds with less than two years of performance history under its new mandate. The Ex-Ante Beta is calculated using a multi-factor risk model. Beta explains common variations in stock returns due to different stock sensitivities to the market relative to its underlying benchmark for the current period, not historical. A beta for a benchmark is 1.00: A beta greater than 1.00 indicates above average volatility and risk.
The statements and opinions expressed are those of the author as of the date of this report. All information is historical and not indicative of future results and subject to change. This information is not a recommendation to buy or sell any security. Past performance does not guarantee future results.