The median Australian share manager returned a bumper 26.4 per cent in the year to August, according to Mercer.
But better gains were to be had investing overseas: the median overseas share manager returned 37.3 per cent over the same period. The results in Mercer Sector Surveys, August 2013 exclude tax and management fees.
But they suggest that over three and five years, the median Australian share manager outperformed the local index by a touch over 1 percentage point. For international shares, the returns were higher but the gap with the index was narrower, at 0.4 percentage points over three and five years.
Over a three-year period, the MSCI World ex Australia Index returned 13.4 per cent - the S&P/ASX 300 Index returned 9.8 per cent. But over a five-year period, the local bourse ruled, returning 4.5 per cent versus 3.4 per cent overseas.
For long-only Australian share funds, Bennelong Concentrated Australian Equities posted the biggest return, of 41.2 per cent, over the year to August.
Next was Lazard Select, which returned 39.2 per cent. Hyperion Australian Growth was the third-strongest performer, returning 37.3 per cent.