Aberdeen Asset Management has launched five new funds simultaneously for sale to the public in Singapore. The five funds include the Group’s first multi-asset funds here. They are the Group’s first Luxembourg-domiciled funds to be available direct to retail investors in Singapore, under the MAS recognised scheme, namely:
Aberdeen is especially excited about its multi-asset funds. It foresees continued demand for yield and new sources of return. This comes amid mixed signals in markets over the effect of a potential roll-back in quantitative easing and rising interest rates.
According to Nicholas Hadow, Director of Business Development, Aberdeen’s approach to multi-asset differs from the majority of competitors because of its wide diversification, emphasis on low volatility and avoidance of complex derivatives.
The new funds invest in areas such as catastrophe bonds, aircraft leasing and corporate loans. These are typically accessed via closed-end structures.
Mike Brooks is in overall charge of the strategies, heading a team of five in Edinburgh. Alongside him Irene Goh, Head of Multi-Asset Solutions, Asia Pacific has been building local teams to manage regional assets. Aberdeen’s multi-asset division globally has 60 strong investment professionals, with approximately US$113.2bn in multi-asset mandates as of 31 March 2017.
While the multi-asset funds were originally launched in Europe just a couple of years ago and the Australian Income Bond fund is new, the other funds being offered in Singapore are established.
The US small cap strategy is top quartile over three years and has been successful in attracting assets thanks to its active stock selection, Aberdeen’s traditional strength. It is run by Ralph Bassett, team head in Philadelphia.
The emerging markets bond fund under Brett Diment in London is top quartile over five years. He says the asset class is relatively attractive in an income-starved world. If US rate rises continue and are joined elsewhere, EM bond spreads over developed market bonds offer a good defence.
Nicholas Hadow comments: “This multiple fund launch is a significant step. As a Group we’re known for equities. Yet we’ve been diversifying for several years even though this may not have been so obvious in retail channels, as it’s been a while since we introduced a new product. We’re confident our multi-asset products, which promise to be the first of many alternative strategies, will help change investor perceptions. What we offer is something different in a market which is far from saturated and where existing manager concentration may encourage a search for new providers.”
Irene Goh adds: “We think the market for multi-asset investments is still in its infancy despite billions having already been raised in the region. Investors are keen to find more stable sources of return and our solution achieves this by delivering genuinely diversified investments and strategies. We range widely into third party products and non- traditional asset classes in liquid forms which many of our competitors don’t have the resources to investigate.”
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