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Fixed Income Manager of the Year
Henderson Global Investors
Henderson Global Investors attracted £5.9 billion net new money over the year ending March 2016, £1.5 billion of which went into fixed income. This brought the overall assets under management to £92.7 billion, and that of fixed income to £25 billion. More than 70% of its fixed income assets were above their respective benchmarks over the year ending March. UK pension schemes have poured money into its Henderson Multi Asset Credit Fund, which has grown to £819 million from £435 million. Having listened to investor demand, Henderson Global Investors, led by Andrew Formica, also expanded its fixed income capabilities by strengthening its teams, hiring a new, dedicated emerging market credit team comprised of a portfolio managers and analysts, as well as two US investment-grade analysts and US loans and asset-backed security specialists to work alongside its high-yield team. In 2015, it launched a diversified credit strategy, which was seeded by a large pension fund keen to reduce its exposure to rising interest rates by diversifying.
With 99% of its fixed income funds outperforming their benchmarks to the end of March, Insight Investment has an impressive five-year record. Its three-year record, with 89%, is somewhat lower but still enviable. Insight Investment, which launched in 2002, grew its overall assets under management to £440 billion this year. Its 98-strong fixed income team manages £95.4 billion, up from £80.2 billion a year earlier. Led by chief executive Abdallah Nauphal, the London-based asset manager has further broadened its fixed income offering over the past year. Its newly launched Government Liquidity Fund, Liquid ABS Fund and Secured Finance Fund all quickly attracted investor money. Insight Investment also integrated Cutwater Asset Management, a wholly-owned subsidiary of BNY Mellon, into its business. With the expansion of its fixed income team, Insight boosted its coverage of international credit markets and expanded capacity, enabling it to re-open its Bond Plus strategies for the first time in three years.
M&G Investments is one of the largest fixed income managers in Europe. Led by Anne Richards, who joined in February from Aberdeen Asset Management, it manages £157 billion in fixed income on behalf of external clients and its parent Prudential. Its assets under management are down from £161 billion in the previous year, mainly a result of net outflows in its retail offering, but its institutional fixed income business has performed strongly. Over three years, 94% of its offering for institutional clients have beaten their respective benchmarks. M&G Investments has also added to its range of funds, launching the High Grade ABS Fund, Debt Opportunities Fund 3 and the European Secured Property Income Fund. Moreover, in 2015, its institutional debt, private credit and multi-asset credit funds won £4.6 billion of business. It sets great store by upselling: some 15 clients have investments in four or more of M&G’s fixed income products. Elsewhere, M&G Investments developed innovative strategies investing in long-lease real estate market while strengthening its investments in European commercial mortgage loans.
Pimco manages $1.5 trillion of assets, nearly all of it in fixed income, making it the largest fixed income manager in the world. It retains its top spot, despite having seen large outflows in recent years. Pimco is headquartered in Newport Beach, California but has large operations across Europe. Over the past year, it has focused on improving the business. In late 2015, Pimco created a global advisory board that includes former US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke, former UK prime minister Gordon Brown and former president of the European Central Bank Jean-Claude Trichet. More recently, it hired Man Group chief executive Manny Roman as CEO. Some 77% of its funds beat their respective benchmarks in the three years to October 2015, while the number was 85% for five years. Pimco has continued to develop and integrate environmental, social and corporate governance factors into its investment process, which it says has become an increasingly important differentiator.
Standard Life Investments
Having successfully integrated assets from its acquisition of Ignis Asset Management into its business, Standard Life now manages £253.2 billion, £85.2 billion of which is in fixed income, making it one of the largest fixed income managers in Europe. In January 2015, Standard Life sold its Canadian business to Manulife and signed a collaboration agreement that deepens its access to global markets. Standard Life has seen particular interest in its Absolute Return Global Bond Strategies Fund, European Corporate bond Funds and Global High Yield Fund. Some 84% of its fixed income funds outperformed their respective benchmarks over three years, while 91% outperformed over five years to the end of 2015. Its new additions to the fixed income range include the Emerging Market Debt Unconstrained Fund and the Total Return Credit fund. Standard Life has also worked on a topic close to the heart of its investors and further embedded environmental, social and governance processes when investing in fixed income. Its chief executive Keith Skeoch urged peers to follow his example by accepting lower bonuses amid outcry over executive pay across industries.