Value-driven approach pays off

An active, macro-oriented, value-driven and benchmark-agnostic approach, which helped differentiate the Legg Mason Brandywine Global Opportunistic Fixed Income Fund from its peers, has also led the fund to win the top award across the Global Fixed Income category.

With the emergence of a synchronised global recovery, stabilisation of commodity markets, weaker US dollar and a marked decline in growth from China, the fund’s strong performance was driven by contrarian views that were rewarded during the period.

Brandywine’s portfolio manager, Anujeet Sareen, said that this included the fund’s significant underweight to the US dollar, an overweight to the British pound and exposure to emerging market sovereigns and currencies.

“While oriented towards developed markets, the fund has the ability to own sizeable emerging markets exposure, concentrated in countries believed to have the most attractive real yields. The fund manages risk by focusing on countries with strong or improving fundamentals while avoiding investment in frontier markets,” he said.

Finalist BlackRock said that throughout 2017 its team remained focused on the two central themes such as continued global growth and normalisation of monetary policies by the major central banks.

BlackRock’s portfolio fund manager, Craig Vardy, said: “We had been running the portfolio with an overweight bias to riskier income assets, including corporate bonds, securitised assets for carry, and emerging market debt.”

“Looking forward, we believe the upside in corporate credit is more limited and the environment is right for macro strategies in rates and FX.”

According to PIMCO’s head of global portfolio management desk, Sachin Gupta, the Global Bond Fund managed to deliver a long-term track record of outperforming its benchmark and peers thanks to its philosophy designed to add value in all market environments.

“Unlike peers in the Global Bond category, we take only modest emerging markets, credit and FX positions relative to the benchmark, in order to deliver consistent alpha with core-like volatility.

Our investment process is unique given the depth of our global portfolio management and research resources, helping to uncover opportunities,” he said.

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