Signet group launches high income bond platform

The Signet Group, a fixed-income investment specialist, has launched a platform of liquid and geographically focused high-income bond portfolios taking advantage of under-researched and ‘off-the-run’ opportunities.

The Signet High Income Series is on the firm’s Dublin-based UCITS IV platform and targets 6-10% per annum over a full market cycle, from coupon income, capital gains, duration management and currency management.

Signet Series will initially carry four distinct investment programs: an Asian bond portfolio; a European high yield bond portfolio; a US high income bond portfolio; and Russia/ CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) bond portfolios.

The portfolios will be actively managed by independent fixed income specialists. Also available is a global portfolio, Signet High Income Portfolio (‘SHIP’) run under Signet’s top down global allocation process.

Bond portfolios will have fixed-income-like volatility with the potential to deliver better than equity returns. They are hybrid products combining the advantages of long-only strategies with more sophisticated investment skills, including tail-risk hedging.

The Asian bucket will be managed by Income Partners Asset Management (HK) Ltd, an independent, specialist Asian debt manager with two decades of experience in Asian markets.

The portfolio will aim to deliver attractive yields with some downside protection. The manager employs active trading with a beta overlay, playing the whole capital structure and all credit markets. In comparison to its peers it has a high level of capital protection with low volatility.

The European portfolio will be handled by Butler Investment Managers Ltd, a European fixed income specialist. It aims to exploit idiosyncratic opportunities in turbulent European corporate credit markets that arise from the crisis in Europe and structural changes in the European high yield market. The fund offers a diversified exposure to European fixed income assets with a top down macro approach.

The US bucket, managed by Feingold O’Keeffe Capital LLC, is designed to exploit credit inefficiencies and income opportunities in US corporate bonds and senior secured loans. Using fundamental research, the fund will source and manage a disciplined portfolio of underfollowed, idiosyncratic credits to generate alpha while providing some downside protection. The strategy seeks to deliver coupon income as well as capital appreciation achieved through active management and trading.
Sberbank Asset Management will manage the Russia/CIS strategy. The portfolio is diversified across sectors of liquid Russian fixed income securities. It takes advantage of the favourable fundamentals in Russia which has increasing fiscal strength and political stability combined with a huge natural resource. The fund also concentrates on US Dollar denominated Eurobonds.

Signet has been performing fund selection, portfolio construction and asset allocation for two decades with particular focus on fixed income investment strategies. Risk management is based on delivering multiple streams of alpha as well as diversification through fundamental macro analysis and qualitative and quantitative rigor.

Robert Marquardt, chairman and co-CIO of the Signet Group, notes: “Our purpose in introducing the High Income Portfolios in a Zero Interest Rate Policy world is to explore the corners of the credit markets which remain inefficient while delivering attractive positive returns through yield capture and active portfolio management.

Founded in 1993 and based in the UK and US, Signet is independently owned by its management and founders and focuses on the investment management of multi-manager absolute return portfolios.

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