The JPMorgan Mid Cap Value strategy, which includes VY JPMorgan Mid Cap Value, benefits from accomplished managers and strong process parameters. It earns Morningstar Analyst Ratings of Silver and Bronze, depending on share class fees.
After missteps led to subpar results in 2018 and 2020’s market drawdowns, managers Jonathan Simon and Larry Playford have righted the ship. In 2021, the two redoubled their efforts to ensure portfolio companies were resilient and profitable enough to thrive in an adverse environment, explaining why the strategy’s roughly 16.7% decline through the first nine months of 2022 fared better than nearly two thirds of peers and the Russell Mid Cap Value benchmark.
Simon and Playford’s flavor of value investing places greater emphasis on financial health than some rivals, helping it hold up better in market sell-offs over its more than 20-year history. The managers prefer companies with healthy balance sheets and low product obsolescence risk that are cheap because of cyclical or non-secular headwinds, or have value to be unlocked through corporate action or management change. Despite a preference for quality, the managers’ willingness to move on from winners and towards cheaper stocks keeps the portfolio’s style profile in the value section of the Morningstar Style Box.
The comanagers’ many years of experience continue to serve the strategy well. Each retains a separate realm of control: Simon holds authority on financials, health care, consumer, and real estate picks, while Playford takes technology, materials, utilities, industrials, and energy. They leverage a six-person dedicated analyst team with ample industry experience, though some are newer to the group. While Simon is in his early 60s, he hasn’t yet indicated a retirement timetable. When that time comes, the strategy will likely be under Playford’s sole control. Investors should take solace in the strong performance of Playford’s sectors and his long tenure with the team. Either way, the strategy will remain in capable hands.