Fund Selector Forum success in Milan
Fund selectors at IE’s Milan Forum showed strong interest in total return and absolute return fund products, reflecting growing investor demand for investment portfolios that include both absolute return funds and ETFs, as part of a classic ‘bar bell’ investment strategy.
Fund selectors at IE’s Milan Forum showed strong interest in total return and absolute return fund products, reflecting growing investor demand for investment portfolios that include both funds that offer higher returns and others offering more protection on the downside.
|Fehm of UBS|
Absolute return is central to fund selectors’ thinking. “This is the business model that most interests us, as our retail clients do not want to lose money. And they are not interested in benchmarked returns,” said one delegate from Santander Private Banking.
He was speaking at the Four Seasons Hotel in central Milan, where more than 30 of Italy’s top fund selectors had gathered to hear the presentations from six leading industry speakers. The delegates were divided into five groups in different rooms, and the speakers presented to them in turn. The delegates therefore had plenty of time with the speakers to ask questions and debate the issues.
| Wallace of Henderson Global Investors
Investors are looking for steady, positive returns through different phases of the market cycle. Henderson Global Investors made a presentation that illustrated the value of absolute return by focusing on three key days that marked the development of the credit crisis, and how this affected Henderson’s decision-making as part of their absolute return strategy.
| Goldsmith of Ignis
Ignis Asset Management’s Chris Fellingham made a presentation on their Absolute Return Government Bond Fund. He said the newly launched fund met growing demand for lower risk absolute returns uncorrelated to traditional asset classes.
The ‘bar bell’ investment theme was picked out by Aureliano Gentilini, head of hedge fund research at Lipper, Thomson Reuters, in his key note speech to introduce the event. Lipper data shows the growing strength of the classic ‘bar bell’ investment trend, as part of a conscious move away from the classic mutual funds that claim to be actively managed but which tend to shadow the benchmarks.
| Gentilini of Lipper
Credit Suisse presented the case for ETFs, picking up on Gentilini’s point about the increasing popularity among investors of the bar bell investment strategy. Enrico Camerini, head of ETFs at Credit Suisse (Italy), explored different ways of using ETFs, as tactical bets, for liquidity management or as part of a core-satellite ETF strategy.
| Halle of M&G
Some delegates favoured value strategies, which is why M&G’s presentation on European value stocks also proved popular. As one delegate said: “It is not new, but for us it is interesting. We don’t do European or US value, but it is something we are considering for the future.”
Look out for further coverage of the event in further issues of InvestmentEurope. The next issue of IE will carry pictures of the delegates at the event in Milan, and these will also soon appear on the website.
InvestmentEurope’s next event is the Fund Selector Summit in Lausanne, a 2-day pan-European conference to be held on 26-28 September at the Beau Rivage Palace.