Alliance hires SWIP bond manager to head new fund

Alliance Trust Investments has poached SWIP bond manager Juan Valenzuela to head up a new fixed income fund.

The group is planning to launch a target return bond fund for Valenzuela, focusing on both income and capital gains, which invests across a broad range of global fixed income asset classes.

Valenzuela, who has worked at SWIP for six years, is joining the group in May as a fixed income portfolio manager. 

During his time at SWIP he was co-manager of the £79m SWIP Absolute Return Bond fund alongside James Carver, who joined from Aberdeen last October.

Under Valenzuela’s stewardship the fund has returned 12.9% over the past three years, lagging the 15% return from the average fund in the UK Investment Management Association’s Absolute Return sector, according to Morningstar.

Valenzuela’s move to Alliance will see him reunited with his former boss Rod Davidson, who joined the firm from SWIP in 2010 to take on the role of head of fixed income.

When the group hired Davidson to build a fixed income franchise, his fellow SWIP bond team members Gareth Quantrill, Stuart McMaster and Stuart Steven also jumped ship to join Alliance. 

Alliance is currently fine tuning the investment objective of the new fund, which is expected to launch in July.

Davidson said: “Valenzuela has a lot of experience in running absolute return style bond portfolios, so he is the perfect fit for this type of product.”

Davidson said the group has plans to launch three or four new fixed income products in the next couple of years, building on its sole bond offering, the £227m Alliance Trust Monthly Income Bond fund.

As previously reported by Investment Week, the group is currently gauging interest in a bond-focused, split-cap investment trust, to be managed by Davidson.

“We have been running a paper portfolio over the past year and are modifying the fine details of the new product, but it is looking likely it will be a target return bond fund and will launch in July,” said Davidson.


This article was first published on Investment Week

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