This fund is a survivor. After a disastrous start in January 2000, it continued to languish at the bottom of the category. In 2003, it staged a comeback with a return of 67.29 per cent (category average: 53.52 per cent). This was the outcome of a concentrated portfolio with a focus on mid caps and smart stock picking.
In September 2005, the fund (erstwhile Alliance New Millennium) was rechristened as Birla Sun Life New Millennium with a focus on technology, media, telecom, internet and ecommerce businesses.
But it was not just a change in name once acquired by the new fund house. The new team immediately began working on diversification and from an average of 12 stocks, the portfolio began to hold around 20 stocks. Additionally, allocation to individual stocks too was cut. For instance, in July 2005, the top three stocks accounted for almost 39 per cent of the portfolio. All that has changed. The top five holdings are currently at almost 35 per cent and the portfolio has 26 stocks. Unfortunately, the revamp did not do it much good and the fund stayed an average performer. Last year though, it once again impressed going ahead of the category average.
It is difficult to nail down the fund manger’s style. The fund has never adhered to any single market cap. In its earlier days, it shuffled between a large and mid cap orientation but now does not tilt towards any market cap, unlike its peers.
This fund will not disappoint but its flashes of brilliance are not too common either.