Birla Sun Life Frontline Equity Fund
- Fund Manager: Mahesh Patil
- Process: Plying a benchmark-aligned process, the manager scouts for companies with good growth prospects.
- Performance: The fund has delivered a solid showing on the risk/return front over the long haul.
- Expense Ratio: 2.27%
- Minimum Investment: Rs 1,000
Its success can be attributed in no small measure to Patil's deftly implemented investment approach. His stock-picking has been impressive. A growth bias is apparent as Patil focuses on factors such as ROCE, ROE, and earnings growth potential. Despite the benchmark-awareness, Patil is no closet indexer, as he is willing to deviate substantially from index weightings in individual holdings.
Patil has also used his understanding of market movements and stock price points skilfully. Tactical plays and a buy/sell pattern within long-held holdings are integral to the approach. But some caveats are in order. In an upturn that is not broad-based--in other words, when some sectors gain significantly more than others--the benchmark-consciousness may cause the fund to underperform peers that invest in an unconstrained manner. Also, tactical plays add an element of timing risk.
Then again, evidently Patil is at ease with the investment approach. He has plied it with skill across market conditions, and we draw extra comfort from his stock-picking prowess. Our confidence in the fund's ability to deliver pleasing results over a market cycle has grown.
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