4 founder-led ASX 300 shares that have helped this fund outperform

These big bets from Airlie paid off for investors…

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Beating the market by buying our own portfolio of ASX 300 shares is always a difficult task.

Most ASX share market index funds have historically delivered some compelling returns over long periods of time. Overcoming the efficiency of an index fund and generating even higher returns is the north star of most ASX investors. But it's a task that's far easier said than done.

So when a fundie manages to do so, it's always worth taking a look to see how they pulled it off.

That's exactly what Airlie Funds Management can boast of today. Airlie's Australian Share Fund has returned an average of 10.65% per annum (as of 30 April) since its founding in 2018, handily outperforming an ASX index fund by more than 2% per annum.

Airlie has also managed to hit an average return of 11.85% over the five years to 30 April 2024, beating its benchmark by 3.85% per annum.

So Airlie clearly knows what it's doing when it comes to beating the market.

Luckily, today we get a chance to go through the ASX 300 shares that this successful fundie is eying off for its next investments.

The ASX 300 shares that Airlie is buying

As reported in the Australian Financial Review (AFR), Airlie portfolio manager Emma Fisher named Mineral Resources Ltd (ASX: MIN), Reece Ltd (ASX: REH), Resmed Inc (ASX: RMD) and Premier Investments Limited (ASX: PMV) as some of Airlie's most recent successes, helping to drive the fund's 12.7% return over the 12 months to 30 April.

These ASX 300 shares are all founder-lead – an attribute that Fisher names as a critical component of Airlie's success with them. She told the AFR that the meetings with these companies management "stood out":

I have always found a lot of value from being in a room with management. Maybe not in every meeting, maybe a lot of them are a wash, but when you meet the real deal, it really stands out for you.

In terms of the fund's next winners, Fisher states that blue chips like Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA), BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP) and CSL Ltd (ASX: CSL) are long-term staples of Airlie's portfolio.

But she's most excited about her next ASX 300 shares, which are "big bets" and include IDP Education Ltd (ASX: IEL).

IDP is currently going through some regulatory issues, which has resulted in the company's share price losing significant value in recent months. But Fisher is taking advantage of this as a buying opportunity:

They've got the balance sheet, they're the leading player, it's not a capital-intensive industry, and they don't need much cash to grow, so they're going to survive a downturn.

Fisher has also been showing serious interest in the big supermarkets Woolworths Group Ltd (ASX: WOW) and Coles Group Ltd (ASX: COL):

They've fallen so much… If you bought the banks off the back of the royal commission, if you bought Qantas when it was having its own inquiry grilling last year, you've done pretty well. So now it's the supermarkets' time in the headlights.

So those are the ASX 300 shares that Airlie is eyeing off as its next potential winners. Let's see how they do over the next 12 months and beyond.

Motley Fool contributor Sebastian Bowen has positions in CSL. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has positions in and has recommended CSL, Idp Education, and ResMed. The Motley Fool Australia has positions in and has recommended Coles Group and ResMed. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended CSL, Idp Education, and Premier Investments. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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