Legg Mason and BetaShares have together launched their third active exchange traded fund (ETF), the BetaShares Legg Mason Australian Bond Fund (BNDS), which will be Australia’s first fixed income active ETF.
The new fund would be managed by Legg Mason affiliate, Western Asset, led by Anthony Kirkham, and according to Legg Mason’s managing director, Andy Sowerby, BNDS would fill a gap in the market as it would provide access to elite specialist asset management.
The firm said that Australian investors typically held an underweight exposure to fixed income and with growing market volatility, investors would need a well-constructed bond fund to increase diversification.
“Fixed income is generally considered to be lower risk than growth assets – such as shares and property – and can deliver returns with much lower volatility,” Kirkham said.
“BNDS invests in Australian government and semi-government bonds, supranational and Australian corporate bonds and other eligible securities.”
Under the alliance, the fund managers had earlier launched two equity income strategies, EINC and RINC, which are managed by Legg Mason affiliate, Martin Currie Australia.