The global bond market is a minefield for asset allocators, with low yields and limited outlets for those unwilling to raise their risk budgets.
But which managers from the 684-strong global bond sector have recovered from a tough 2015/16 period to post positive performance and lift themselves up the rankings?
Let’s find out who is on the comeback trail and how they achieved it.
Urs Ramseier, Bank Safra Sarasin
- Ranking period one (May 2015-May 2016): 587/622
- Ranking period two (May 2016-May 2017): 10/684
Posting the fourth strongest improvement in performance is Bank Safra Sarasin’s Urs Ramseier. He has overseen the Swiss group’s Luxembourg-domiciled insurance bond fund since its launch in September 2011 and recovered from a tough period in 2015/16 to sit in the top 10 of the sector.
On a one-year basis, Ramseier returned 14.57% in euro terms, which was against an average manager return of 3.58% in the global bonds sector over the same period. In the $52.8 million fund, Ramseier focuses on the UK market (27.1% of exposure), largely targeting BBB- rated bonds (30.5%).
Tracy Chen, Legg Mason Brandywine
- Ranking period one (May 2015-May 2016): 600/622
- Ranking period two (May 2016-May 2017): 19/684
Taking third spot is Legg Mason Brandywine’s Tracy Chen, who is spotlighted for her performance on the Legg Mason Brandywine Global Credit Opportunities fund, which she co-runs with Regina Borromeo, Gary Herbert and Brian Kloss. Chen is singled out as this is her only fund in this sector.
The quartet has co-run the fund since its launch in June 2014 and experienced a solid turnaround in performance in 2016/17, having returned 13.17% on a one-year basis. The fund focuses largely on mortgage-backed securities, which account for 50.6% of exposure at present.
Oliver Gasser, Credit Suisse
- Ranking period one (May 2015-May 2016): 613/622
- Ranking period two (May 2016-May 2017): 11/684
The only manager in this countdown achieving improved performance across two global bond strategies is Credit Suisse’s Oliver Gasser. Gasser sits just behind Ramseier in the ranking on a one-year basis, having sat within the bottom 10 performers for the previous 12 months.
The largest and longest-running of his funds is the CS (Lux) Global Value Bond fund, which he co-runs with Romeo Sakac. Sakac isn’t noted here as he was only added in April of this year. On this $350 million fund, Gasser and Sakac have one-third allocated to AAA-rated debt, while shorter-term paper, notably one- to three-year maturities, make up over 40% of investments.
Issenhuth & Martgetyal, Tailor Capital
- Ranking period one (May 2015-May 2016): 620/622
- Ranking period two (May 2016-May 2017): 7/684
French duo Christophe Issenhuth and Didier Margetyal of Parisian boutique Tailor Capital boast the biggest leap in terms of ranking position on a one-year basis. The duo’s high yield-focused global bond portfolio sat in the bottom three one year ago and is the seventh best performer in the most recent analysis.
The duo, who have co-run the France-domiciled fund November 2011, returned 14.97% on a one-year basis, which lifts them from their lowly 2015/16 ranking. The €93 million fund has a strong emphasis on floating-rate debt in France will rallied strongly against the backdrop of the French presidential election.