Allianz GI expands European retail product range

Allianz Global Investors has announced the launch of a series of retail and institutional share classes for its Allianz Global Small Cap Equity fund.

The fund was launched in June 2013 and is now registered in a number of markets in Europe: Austria, Finland, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and United Kingdom.

The new share classes give investors in Europe the opportunity to access the Global Small Cap strategy, managed by Andrew Neville, which has made a total return of 28.46% (since inception in March 2011) for institutional clients.

In an environment of low interest rates, the Global Small Caps segment offers structural benefits like flexible and agile company management. Additionally, an active stock selection based on substantial inefficiencies could help generate returns for investors.

The Allianz Global Small Cap Equity fund aims to deliver long term capital growth and outperformance of the MSCI World Small Cap Index Total Return.

The portfolio is an aggregation of four regional sub-portfolios North America, Europe, Japan and Asia with fixed weightings to each area in line with the benchmark. Lead Portfolio Manager Andrew Neville adjusts the four bottom-up stock picking strategies to keep a neutral regional allocation, similar to the strategy that was previously only available for institutional clients.

Based on this approach, the Global Small Cap portfolio reflects the best ideas from four dedicated standalone Allianz Global Investors regional small cap portfolios. The Luxembourg domiciled Fund will invest in up to 190 smaller companies with attractive risk/reward profiles based on local expertise and focusing on companies with a market cap of at least USD 400m.

Nick Smith, head of European Retail Sales (Ex-Germany) at AllianzGI comments: “We continue to see growing demand from investors for products that aim at helping them achieve their financial goals in an environment of financial repression. Small caps often have an advantage over mid and large caps in this environment as they are able to finance their own growth, which means they are not as constrained by the effects of banks restricting their lending. They provide diversification benefits, as they are more risky and more volatile but offer higher returns; combining them with medium- and large-caps is a way of diversifying a portfolio. “

Andrew Neville, manager of the Allianz Global Small Cap Fund added: “In an environment of low growth and higher inflation, Global Smaller Companies could provide sustainable profit growth. There are 16,000 Global Small Caps worldwide, which represent 25% of the World’s market capitalisation.”

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