LIPPER AWARDS-European bets help Delaware team grab top Lipper award

Wed Mar 26, 2014 12:50pm EDT
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By Tim McLaughlin

March 26 (Reuters) - Bets on financial companies and Europe's beat-up economy helped maintain a decade-long winning streak at the Delaware Extended Duration Bond Fund rolling in 2013.

The $603 million Delaware fund recently received the U.S. Lipper 2014 Excellence in Fund Management award. It swept Lipper's 3-year, 5-year and 10-year categories for corporate debt BBB-rated funds.

The fund has been the top dog in a field with some big stars, including Dan Fuss, whose track record at Loomis Sayles has earned him the nickname "The Buffett of Bonds."

"The fixed income team at Delaware has done an outstanding job delivering top performance in a field crowded with talent," said Jeff Tjornehoj, head of Lipper Americas Research. He also cited Mark Kiesel at Pimco as a tough competitor.

Tjornehoj said the Delaware fund dives into longer maturities and emerges with terrific results.

"Relative to many of its peers, it's not the smoothest ride for investors," Tjornehoj said. "But over the long run, they've actually delivered less volatility than the fund's benchmark while still beating it substantially by almost two percentage points per year over the last ten years."

The Delaware fund can also be contrarian, not unlike a stock picker who looks for value in places that other investors flee, said Tom Chow, senior vice president and chief investment officer of corporate credit at Delaware Investments. The company is part of Macquarie Group Ltd.

"We know what's in the benchmark. But we don't just invest in names in the benchmark. We do our own homework," Chow said.   Continued...