Taking out the gong in the Multi-Asset category in the Money Management/Lonsec Fund Manager of the Year Awards was the PineBridge Global Dynamic Asset Allocation Fund, the objective of which is to deliver an investment return of plus five per cent above the rate of inflation.
Lonsec said it was Pinebridge’s skew to growth assets in 2017 that helped it to deliver a strong performance relative to peers. According to PineBridge portfolio manager, global multi-asset, Sunny Ng, it was their focus on underlying economic and asset class fundamentals, which led them to conclude in late 2016 that markets had moved into a new regime on the back of private sector deleveraging. The implications of this new regime were a reflation in growth, confidence and cash-flows that would be constructive for growth assets.
Ng added that it is the three categories that make up a multi-asset strategy which, when unified, can make a unique contribution to investor portfolios.
The first category, total return or alternative to equity/growth asset strategies, seek equity-like returns with lower volatility, Ng explained. These are generally total return strategies that aim to deliver a return equal to the consumer price index plus five to six per cent by making opportunistic investments across a wide array of asset classes.
Secondly, there are absolute return or alternatives to fixed income/capital conservation strategies, which focus more on risk than on return, and where risks generally do not exceed those of fixed income more broadly, Ng said.
Thirdly, new strategic mixes include replacements to traditional 60 per cent equity/40 per cent bond portfolios. The focus here is predominantly on new strategic allocations that are not correlated with the investor’s overall strategic mix, he said.
“Our investment philosophy and process are time-tested and proven across market cycles, and importantly across both de-risking and re-risking markets,” Ng said.
“While the philosophy and process does not change, we are constantly looking to enhance the range of asset classes as well as the inputs that underlie them.
“This range of asset classes gives us the ability to be dynamic and position our client portfolios in line with our intermediate-term convictions on selected asset classes.”
Ng notes that the PineBridge Global Multi Asset Team has been highly stable, with the four investment professionals having worked together for over a decade or more. The senior members (senior vice president and above) within the team have an average of 21 years of industry experience.
The Hostplus Balanced Option fund and the MLC Wholesale Horizon 4 Balanced Portfolio were finalists in the same category.