The JPMorgan Mid Cap Value strategy, which includes VY JPMorgan Mid Cap Value, remains a good choice for investors thanks to its experienced leadership, analyst resources, and strong investment process.
This strategy’s biggest plus is proven and experienced managers who’ve steered it to success over many years. Jonathan Simon has served here since the mutual fund’s 1997 inception, while Larry Playford became comanager in 2004. Results over their joint tenures have been good in absolute terms but even better on a risk-adjusted basis. Rather than share decision-making authority of all stock picks, they share views on portfolio prospects, but each takes charge of specific sectors within their mid-cap investment universe. They’ve more recently benefited from a beefed-up analyst team comprising five individuals, an analytical edge relative to the strategy’s earlier years when it relied more heavily on the portfolio managers and the firm’s central research team.
The managers share a similar, risk-conscious investment style that has yielded benefits. While the portfolio usually lands in the value section of the Morningstar Style Box, it typically doesn’t get into deep-value territory because the managers prefer businesses with relatively healthier financials and less cyclicality than stocks trading at rock-bottom valuations. A quality tilt has led to less-volatile performance than the benchmark and has also served as ballast during down markets, such as 2022.
Investors should expect a reasonably diversified portfolio of around 115 stocks, low turnover, and a moderate level of differentiation from the benchmark. The managers don’t make large bets on any one stock—the largest position sizes tend to be around 2%-3% of assets—preferring to accrue smaller victories across the portfolio. It’s a plus that the team also covers small-cap stocks, such that they can pounce on an opportunity that appreciates into mid-cap territory. Similarly, the team benefits from Jonathan Simon’s experience managing large-value portfolio on other strategies, as well as the backing of a large core research group.
Although Simon has reached an age at which many retire, he intends to keep managing the strategy for the foreseeable future. Investors should take solace in Playford’s experience and track record when he does step aside.
Overall, this strategy remains a solid choice in the mid-value space.