In May 2020, BBH Global Core Select Class N (“Global Core Select” or “the Fund”) rose 5.74% compared to the MSCI World Index, which rose 4.83%. During the month, our top contributor was Swiss eyecare company Alcon, and our biggest detractor was British bank Lloyds Banking Group.
Alcon delivered solid 1Q20 results in May, reflecting better-than-expected resiliency to COVID-19 headwinds. Both the surgical and the vision care business segments continued to gain share in their respective markets, benefiting from new product innovation and strong operational execution. While the Surgical business has been disproportionately impacted by the halting of elective procedures, we were pleased that Vision Care has been resilient given the subscription-like model of contact lenses. Despite current expectations for revenue declines in 2Q20, the critical nature of eye care should help sustain demand and drive recovery. Management has taken actions in response to COVID-19 that we believe will help preserve the company’s ability to keep investing in research and development (R&D) and manufacturing expansion, both of which are key long-term business drivers. As management believes the impact of COVID is likely to be transitory, we believe Alcon is investing appropriately for the long-term, and the eye care segment should remain attractive in terms of both size and market growth.
Lloyds’ shares declined in May primarily due to several headwinds facing the UK banking sector, including low interest rates, Brexit, and the impact of COVID-19, though the company continues to operate well. Lloyds is actively assisting its customers and employees during the pandemic: the bank has granted payment holidays, introduced interest-free overdraft programs to depositors, suspended staff reduction plans, suspended executive bonuses, and has taken other steps to ensure adequate capital availability to UK consumers and businesses. As a result, management guided for net interest margin compression in the short term should the country remain locked down. A hallmark of Lloyds’ model is its relatively low operating expenses, and in our view, costs remain well controlled and should continue to trend downward through the year despite the pandemic, reinforcing our view that this is a core strength of the business and a focus of management. Furthermore, Lloyds commented that its focus on prime, secured UK retail business is paying off in the form of better performance and asset quality through the current crisis which also reinforces our long-term thesis.
Holdings are subject to change. Totals may not sum due to rounding. Price/Earnings (P/E) ratio is a company’s current share price divided by earnings per-share. Turnover ratio is the rate of trading in a portfolio; higher values imply more frequent trading.
Opinions, forecasts, and discussions about investment strategies represent the author’s views as of the date of this commentary and are subject to change without notice. References to specific securities, asset classes, and financial markets are for illustrative purposes only and are not intended to be, and should not be interpreted as recommendations.
Purchase and sale information provided should not be considered as a recommendation to purchase or sell a particular security and that there is no assurance, as of the date of publication, that the securities purchased remain in a fund's portfolio or that securities sold have not been repurchased.
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-08027-2020-06-10 BBH002977 Exp. Date 07/31/2020