Franklin Templeton has closed a bond strategy focused on achieving a real rate of return after assets dropped below a workable level, Citywire Selector has learned.

The Franklin Real Return fund was liquidated on 12 December 2017, at which point it had $210 million in assets across all share classes, according to the December factsheet.

The fund had been overseen by Tony Coffey and Citywire + rated Kent Burns since its launch in April 2010. The pair remain with the firm despite the closure.

Commenting on the closure, a spokesperson for the firm said the board of directors decided the size of the fund was too small to keep it open and viable for investors.

Franklin Templeton has undertaken moves to rationalise its fund offering in recent years. In October 2016 the firm moved the lower limit under which funds become no longer viable from below $20 million to below $50 million.

Shareholders of the closed strategies were able to either redeem their shares or switch to other sub-funds within the FTIF and FTSF ranges.

Coffey remains lead manager on the Franklin Global Fundamental Strategies fund, while Burns is named on the Franklin Strategic Income and Franklin US Low Duration funds.

In the three years to the end of November 2017, the Franklin Real Return fund lost 3.2% in US dollar terms. This compares to a 4.6% rise by its Citywire-assigned benchmark, the Citi WGBI TR USD, over the same timeframe.