Legg Mason is banking on the expertise offered by its multi-boutique business model to unlock the already crowded Italian market.
“For example, Western Asset is the fifth largest fixed income manager around the world in terms of asset under management. Brandywine offers a global sovereign fund with an innovative and unique investment approach – we see Italian market interested in this asset class at the moment. Also, our capabilities on US equity market offer a wide choice to investors.”
One of the more high-profile funds in the Legg Mason stable is its Western Asset Global Multi-Strategy Fund.
It targets high total return by investing in fixed income assets that offer income and capital appreciation, and aims to beat a composite index.
The fund invests primarily in debt securities across the major fixed-income sectors that are listed or traded in both developed and emerging market countries.
The fund is denominated in US dollars, Japanese yen, pound sterling, euro and a variety of other currencies.
Another is the Brandywine Global Fixed Income fund, focused on active government bond and currency strategies.
It seeks to maximise total return through capital appreciation and income by investing in sovereign debt securities denominated in the currencies of issuers located primarily in developed countries around the world.
The investment team targets relative value opportunities across sovereign debt/agencies and currencies, and so has a benchmark-agnostic investment approach.
The Brandywine investment philosophy is long-term and driven by valuation-based fundamentals.
The fund aims to outperform the Citi World Government Bond index by 2% a year over a market cycle.
Negri says: “It is very appreciated by our clients and it is entering their buylists thanks to the strong returns delivered in the last months, despite the market environment.”
To meet growing interest in US equities among Italian investors, Legg Mason offers the Royce Smaller Companies Fund, run by Royce & Associates, a US equities specialist it acquired in 2001.
The investment approach is long-term, value-oriented and contrarian. The fund is benchmarked against the Russell 2000 index and aims to produce strong absolute and relative returns on a risk-adjusted basis.