Unsurprisingly the fund is an almost carbon copy of the Standard Life GARS Fund.
When it comes to fixed interest / bond investment, it is a general view that we live in uncertain times. Fixed interest / bond investments have enjoyed strong returns in recent years, however the view across the board is that this is coming to an end. Certain asset classes may continue to do well but investors will have to accept a greater degree of risk with potentially lower returns.
Fund managers (or marketing teams!) are very good at coming up with strategies which respond to different environments. This time is no different and we are seeing new fund launches all the time. Some of these look to drive positive returns from the fixed interest / bond markets and others look to focus on reducing volatility to match bond type volatility, but drive returns closely related to equities.
One of the most recognisable funds which adopts a strategy of reduced volatility with equity type returns is the Standard Life Global Absolute Return Strategies Fund (GARS). In 2013 some senior members of the team left and set up a similar fund at Invesco. At the time one of our concerns was whether a smaller team could deliver a similar strategy in an effective way.
12 months on, and it appears the answer is yes. In this update with the product director (who works alongside the team) we look to understand more about the process and how the fund is positioned.