In April 2020, BBH Global Core Select Class N (“Global Core Select” or “the Fund”) rose 9.07% compared to the MSCI World index, which rose 10.92%. Our top contributor was global search and advertising company Alphabet, and our largest detractor was Canadian insurance and investment firm Fairfax Financial Holdings.
Alphabet shares rose throughout the month alongside a technology-led market rally. The company’s core advertising businesses had started the year strongly but slowed as the COVID-19 pandemic restricted commercial activity worldwide. Management noted that the company had exited March seeing a material slowdown in growth, but its businesses showed signs of stabilization in early April. Investors reacted very favorably to these indications of a potential recovery, but we continue to believe that caution is warranted by the circumstances. In our view, a return to growth in advertising will require a sustained rebound in economic activity, which in turn will depend on communities and businesses reopening in safe and responsible ways. Despite current uncertainties, Alphabet’s cash-rich balance sheet remains a source of stability, and we were pleased that management showed flexibility in accelerating planned share repurchases to take advantage of market weakness. We remain confident in Alphabet’s market position and its long-term growth opportunities.
Fairfax shares were down nearly 11% in U.S. Dollars, contrasting with the broader market recovery in April. Shares remained under pressure following the company’s quantification of the negative impact of COVID-19 in its mid-month pre-announcement. As we had noted at quarter end, we had begun trimming our position earlier this year given our concerns around asbestos claims liabilities and a management departure and accelerated them as the coronavirus pandemic spread in anticipation of material losses across Fairfax’s non-insurance operations, which include restaurants, travel, retail, and other economically sensitive assets. We expect this will create a material headwind, though our belief that the broader insurance franchise would be relatively resilient was confirmed by double-digit premium growth and a solid combined ratio.1
1 The ratio of insurance losses and expenses to total premiums earned.
Investors in the Fund should be able to withstand short-term fluctuations in the equity markets and fixed income markets in return for potentially higher returns over the long term. The value of portfolios change every day and can be affected by changes in interest rates, general market conditions and other political, social and economic developments.
Foreign investing involves special risks including currency risk, increased volatility, political risks, and differences in auditing and other financial standards. Prices of emerging market securities can be significantly more volatile than the prices of securities in developed countries, and currency risk and political risks are accentuated in emerging markets.
Investing in medium sized companies typically exhibit greater risk and higher volatility than larger, more established companies.
For more complete information, visit www.bbhfunds.com for a prospectus. You should consider the fund's investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses carefully before you invest. Information about these and other important subjects is in the fund's prospectus, which you should read carefully before investing.
Shares of the Fund are distributed by ALPS Distributors, Inc. and is located at 1290 Broadway, Suite 1000, Denver, CO 80203.
Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. ("BBH"), a New York limited partnership, was founded in 1818 and provides investment advice to registered mutual funds through a separately identifiable department (the "SID"). The SID is registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. BBH acts as the Fund Administrator and is located at 140 Broadway, New York, NY 10005.
Not FDIC Insured No Bank Guarantee May Lose Money
IM-07961-2020-05-13 BBH002967 Exp. Date 07/31/2020