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Andrew_Stanners - Aberdeen Asset Management
NameAndrew Stanners
Job titleInvestment Manager, Emerging Market Debt
CompanyAberdeen Asset Management
TitleTotal Return Emerging Debt – Its Role in Absolute Return Investing
ContentInvesting in Emerging Debt Markets is both fascinating because of the wealth of opportunities available and, at the same time, quite daunting due to the preponderance of idiosyncratic risks and the need to undertake diligent, extensive research when selecting potential investments. In order to capture these risks and rewards we use a US Treasury benchmark as a reference point and follow a bottom-up “best ideas” approach in order to generate strong total returns. We have additional flexibility to take selective short positions in order to improve the risk-adjusted returns and also for hedging purposes. During the sessions Andrew will touch on Aberdeen’s investment process drawing on the global resources, touching on some of the positions within the fund, long and short, and give an outlook for Emerging Market Debt in 2015.
BiogAndrew Stanners is an Investment Manager on the EMD team. Andrew joined Aberdeen via the acquisition of Deutsche Asset Management's London and Philadelphia fixed income businesses in 2005. Andrew held a similar role at Deutsche Asset Management, which he joined in 2001. Andrew graduated with a BA joint honours in Economics and Economic History from York University.
Alex Johnson - BNP Paribas
NameAlex Johnson
Job titleHead of Absolute Return Fixed Income
CompanyFFTW, a BNP Paribas Investment Partner
TitleShifting gear - absolute return for fixed income portfolios
ContentGiven the current market outlook, investors need to focus on diversification and opportunities in multiple environments. Absolute Return Fixed Income is a timely portfolio addition as a pure alpha generating strategy. Alex Johnson, Head of Absolute Return Fixed Income at FFTW in New York to discuss how Absolute Return strategies benefit fixed income portfolios in any environment, and the different investor segments investing in Absolute Return Fixed Income. FFTW manages Absolute Return using a risk-budgeted approach to as diverse a set of fixed income opportunities as possible, ensuring that no one theme dominates expected return, and uncorrelated with the direction of fixed income markets. This combination has worked, and it is offered in a UCITS fund format with a volatility target of 350bps, consistent with expected returns over cash of around 3% pa over the cycle, and has been augmented with a second UCITS fund targeting 700bps of volatility, consistent with expected returns over cash of around 7%. For discretionary mandates, the approach is modular, allowing differing volatility targets, asset classes, and customization to address client concerns and constraints.
BiogAlex is the Head of Absolute Return Fixed Income for FFTW, a BNP Paribas Investment Partner. He is responsible for the management, growth and development of global absolute return strategies, and he is the portfolio manager for multi-strategy absolute return portfolios. Prior to his current role, Alex served as Co-Head of Global Fixed Income for FFTW having previously been Head of Portfolio Management. Prior to this, he was employed as a Senior Portfolio Manager at Fortis Investment Management, which was integrated into FFTW in 2010. Alex is based in New York. Before joining the firm, Alex was on the Global Fixed Income team at BlackRock having spent the previous four years at FFTW in London and New York where he was the Market Specialist responsible for short duration interest rate strategies across the major currency blocs. Alex came to FFTW from Paribas Asset Management, where he worked as a Portfolio Manager for UK and European funds. Collectively, Alex has over 12 years within the BNP Paribas organization and over 18 years of global fixed income portfolio management experience. Alex received an MA in Law from Balliol College, University of Oxford and an LLM in Law from the University of Virginia.
Reto Baumgartner - Fisch Asset Management
NameReto Baumgartner
Job titleSenior Portfolio Manager
CompanyFisch Asset Management
TitleSafety first – FISCH MultiAsset MantaPlus
ContentFisch Asset Management presents the investment strategy of its own pension fund. The use of convertible bonds, corporate bonds and trend following strategies play an important role. We explain the long term, safety-oriented driver of the strategy. Convertible bonds, for example, are the ideal instrument to limit the downside risk. Thus we prefer convertible bonds in terms of the funds equity exposure. Besides safety, retirement planning requires return. The fund aims to achieve a return of 4% above money market. The pension fund of Fisch Asset Management is fully invested in the FISCH MultiAsset MantaPlus fund. Hence also German investors can benefit from this proven strategy.
BiogReto Baumgartner graduated in Engineering Sciences at Zurich ETH and with an MA Advanced Studies in Finance from Zurich University and ETH Zurich. Throughout his studies, he specialised in quantitative finance. In addition, he completed the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) certificate. Reto has been with Fisch Asset Management since 2005. Initially responsible for developing risk- and asset management software, he subsequently joined the asset management team as portfolio manager, where he is now in charge of the multi-asset division.
Antoon de Klerk - Investec
Name Antoon de Klerk
Job title Portfolio Manager
CompanyInvestec Asset Management
TitleEmerging Markets Debt Total Return: Best Practice risk-reward management
ContentOnce end-investors have decided to allocate to an asset category, such as emerging market debt (EMD), the next question becomes what the preferred approach is in managing the assets. An important distinction for instance is between benchmark-relative strategies versus more total return oriented strategies. While the environment over the past decade has been conducive to a benchmark relative approach, we think the environment is changing which means a total return approach might have stronger merits and could gain in popularity. Our approach to constructing a total return portfolio relies on selecting countries which have a bias towards resilience in three different dimensions and on insisting on adequate compensation for signs of vulnerability.
BiogAntoon is an investment specialist in the Global Emerging Market Debt team with a focus on Africa and is portfolio manager for our Total Return EMD and Africa Fixed income strategies.
He joined the Investec Group in 2005 as part of the Investec chartered accountant (TOPP) Programme. After spending time in accounts and investment banking where he was involved with merger and acquisition advisory work, he joined Investec Asset Management in 2006.
Antoon holds a Master’s degree (cum laude) in Economics and an honours degree in Accounting from the University of Stellenbosch and is CA (SA). Antoon studied in Germany as part of his post-graduate economic studies.
Paul Nicholson - Vontobel
NamePaul Nicholson
Job titleSenior Portfoliomanager
CompanyVontobel Asset Management
TitleAbsolute Return with Vontobel – an all-weather fixed income fund, providing liquidity, flexibility and consistency
ContentThe Vontobel Fund - Absolute Return Bond strategy seeks to generate a return in excess of Libor whilst keeping volatility within tightly managed limits. Positive performance is achieved in both rising and falling fixed income markets through active investment strategies. The strong diversification characteristic of the fund is achieved by entering both long and short directional exposures in highly liquid positions. The strategy utilises a momentum-based, also known as trend following, quantitative model that produces excess returns in strongly trending (up or down) market regimes.
The funds’ investment objectives are attained through the following strategies;
Momentum: The model identifies asymmetric themes with strong trends and profits from them with directional alpha strategies. Dynamic long and short exposure enables the fund to profit from the full cycle, especially in bull and bear fixed income markets.
Liquidity: The fund concentrates on liquid alpha strategies implemented with derivatives and income generation through cash management using mainly cash bonds especially sovereigns.
Currency: The currency strategy adds a diversifying source of returns.
BiogPaul Nicholson joined Harcourt, the alternatives boutique of Vontobel Asset Management, in 2011 and is portfolio manager of the absolute return strategies. He started his career in London, managing fixed income absolute return bond funds at HSBC Investment Management in 2001. In 2004, he joined Nomura Asset Management as a financial analyst & fixed income credit portfolio manager. At Nomura, he managed various products, from institutional fixed income funds, money market funds and absolute return bond funds. In 2006, he moved to Hong Kong, where he managed multi-asset class portfolios for SAIL Advisors Ltd. In 2010, he became a founding member of Synergy Fund Management Group in Hong Kong, where he was the portfolio manager of the multi-asset class, Synergy Asia Fund.