SWIP repositions equity strategy

Edinburgh-based Scottish Widows Investment Partnership (SWIP) is to further reposition its £54bn equities business, in a move that will see it focus on global and specialist active equities in addition to quantitative equities.

The move is in response to the changing needs of its clients, says a statement from SWIP. “The asset management industry is seeing an increasingly clear divide between those equity investors seeking high-alpha solutions and those preferring a lower-risk strategy through a quantitative-based approach. At the same time, there is client demand to adopt a Global view to delivering solutions for these investment needs.” 

Dean Buckley, Managing Director of SWIP, said: “With £143bn of client assets, SWIP recognises the changing needs of our clients and will offer solutions that fulfil their diverse investment needs. We remain committed to active fund management in those markets where we have confidence that we can generate strong investment performance and build long-term, valuable relationships with clients.

“However, for some of our clients, a lower-risk approach to investment is more appropriate for their needs. By repositioning our equities business, investing in our multi-asset capability and continuing to build on the success of our fixed income and real estate teams, I believe we will add value for our clients whilst also enabling the continued growth and success of our business.”

Andrew November, SWIP’s Director of Equities, has appointed his senior team who will drive forward the new equities strategy. Will Low continues in his role as Head of Global Equities which now includes responsibility for UK Small Cap, Real Estate Securities and Absolute Return; Tony Whalley continues to lead the Equities Dealing team; and Anne Fraser continues in her role as Head of Governance. November and his senior equities team will work together over the coming weeks to finalise the wider team structure.

Sean Phayre continues to head up the quantitative investments team, which sits in SWIP’s Investment Solutions business. The team, created in 2007, has built a strong track record of delivering excellent returns and currently manages in excess of £27 billion on behalf of SWIP’s clients. The team specialises in efficient portfolio construction with the aim of delivering maximum returns for investors for a given level of investment risk. For those investors seeking a lower-risk strategy, this quantitative equity approach provides an attractive target return whilst maintaining a broad-based approach and diverse set of holdings. 

SWIP is beginning the process of transitioning a number of funds to the new equities strategy. This process will take some months and will result in the closure of a number of smaller regional equity funds that no longer fit with the revised investment strategy, in addition to some funds that due to their small size are no longer economically viable for SWIP to manage.

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