Crisis was litmus test for active managers, EM duo says after sweeping market for mispriced stocks

During the crisis year of 2020, Evli's Emerging Frontier Fund's team substantially repositioned their portfolio. "Given the way the world changed in 2020, I don't understand how any active manager could have not materially repositioned their portfolio. In a pandemic like this, you've got to be able to react quickly and that’s what we did," fund manager Burton Flynn says.

Managers of the Evli Emerging Frontier Fund Burton Flynn (l.) and Ivan Nechunaev visiting a factory in Vietnam. | Photo: Terra Nova Capital PR.

Last year’s crisis offered numerous compelling investment opportunities but also functioned as a litmus test for active managers, say managers of the Evli Emerging Frontier Fund Burton Flynn and Ivan Nechunaev.

The EUR 135m fund, which invests in 33 emerging and frontier market companies, took a steep dive in March but more than fully recovered by year-end, posting a 20.1 percent return in euro terms for 2020.

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