Flexibility leads the way for A.A. Advisors

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Stéphane Corsaletti, CEO of A.A.Advisors, discusses the strategies that clients of the funds of funds and funds of mandates provider are pursuing.

ABN Amro Advisors (A.A.Advisors) is the centre of multi-manager expertise in the ABN Amro Group: the Dutch financial services company created out of the merger in 2010 of ABN Amro and Fortis Bank Nederland. Its fund range is composed of equity, fixed income, balanced, lifecycle and absolute return funds, as well as multi-asset solutions that combine external mandates with both actively and passively managed funds.

What is the AUM in funds ABN AMRO has for its client base?

Globally, ABN Amro has more than €40bn in funds. A.A.Advisors, created in 1998, is advising a discretionary portfolio management programme for both the retail and the private bank of the group (€2.1bn and €3.8bn, respectively). A.A.Advisors is also managing funds of funds and funds of mandates totalling €3bn.

Is it all in actively managed funds?

A.A.Advisors strongly believes in a combined and pragmatic approach when it comes to use active or passive solutions. It all depends on asset classes, market circumstances and investment objectives of investors. This is reflected in our portfolios and our advisory services.

Our in-depth due diligence process operated by our research analysts and risk managers cover both active and passive solutions. The core of the assets remains in active strategies, but we do not hesitate to recommend passive solutions where they are more efficient.

What sources do you use to find new funds?

There are no restrictions of any kind. Ideas can come from all different solutions provided by asset management companies, being open ended or segregated, public or dedicated, fund or mandate. Our product structuring department will be able to create solutions for our clients, in case these strategies are not accessible for private investors.

Thanks to our size, long track-record and recognition among investors, we can benefit from different sources to generate investment ideas. It is key for our clients that analysts at A.A.Advisors are dedicated research people, constantly looking for new and interesting opportunities, not only monitoring the existing positions.

Our research analysts are specialised per asset class and monitor their universe on an on-going basis. They participate in many conference calls, but also meetings and conferences both in our offices or on-site.

The team further benefits from the proprietary screening tools developed by A.A.Advisors’ Quantitative Consulting Group, and based on several external databases.

Do you run an ‘approved list’?

All analysts are responsible for managing their own approved list per asset class. This list must be large enough to cover the different needs of the various departments at A.A.Advisors.

While the fund of funds managers may be very opportunistic in terms of fund size, turnover or fund providers, the discretionary portfolio management and advisory teams take into account the guidelines and requirements of their clients in terms of size, authorised asset managers or registration.

The lists of approved funds from the analysts thus include core asset classes and funds, as well as more opportunistic strategies depending on market circumstances or specific demands of the users.

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