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Three fund managers to know in European bonds

Citywire Investment Research uncovers three managers making waves this month.

Market Overview

In October ECB announced that it plans to cut back its QE programme from earlier next year, however it aims to buy ‘sizable quantities’ debt at investment grade. The low-volatility situation and record low yields could therefore be on the agenda for European bond managers over the next year.

But, who has already proven themselves adept with dealing with whatever the market has in store? In the European bonds asset class we have awarded 208 fund managers a rating based on their strong three-year risk-adjusted performance in November. This is composed of eight AAAs, 28 AAs, 47 As and 125 + ratings.

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Highest New Entrant

Fund manager: Tobias Stein, Quoniam AM

Citywire Rating: AA-rated

Overview

Quoniam Asset Management’s Tobias Stein makes his debut this month with an AA rating based on his robust three-year risk-adjusted performance. He currently runs several funds across various fixed income spectrum including the Quoniam Fd Sel. SICAV Glb Credit MinRisk EUR A, which sits within the Bonds - Euro Medium Term sector.

This fund uses the MinRisk strategy to achieve a high absolute performance with a low level of depreciation risk. Stein aims to gain a better risk-return ratio by adopting a risk-parity method in terms of sector/issuer allocations.

As of end of October, his largest bet was in the non-cyclical consumer sector (27%), followed by communications (16%) and financials (12%). The US accounts for a large chunk of the total portfolio of 56%.  Over the three years to the end of October, Stein returned 9.6% in euro terms, outperforming the Bonds - Euro Corporates sector average manager’s 6.9% return.

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Comeback Star

Fund manager: Vasco Teles, Novo Banco

Citywire Rating: A-rated

Overview

Lisbon-based Vasco Teles of Novo Banco Gestión has returned to our ratings this month with an A rating after a 21-months hiatus. Teles employs a macro and fundamental investment strategy in his two euro bond strategies, which are the NB Euro Bond and NB Obrigacoes Europa funds.

As at the end of October 2017, Teles was significantly overweight Italian bonds accounting more than 30% of the portfolio, followed by euro futures (17%), French (10%) and German (10%) debts. Teles has returned 12.6% in euro terms, versus a mere 5.3% gain delivered by his peer group in Bonds Euro sector over a three-year period.

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Manager to Watch

Fund manager: Hendrik Leber, ACATIS

Citywire Rating: A-rated

Overview

The risk-adjusted performance of investment veteran Hendrik Leber from Acatis has seen him move up the rankings in November, rising from being Citywire + rated to an A rating. Leber focuses on sustainability when it comes to investment and is recognised here for his work on the ACATIS Fair Value Bonds UI A fund, which lies in the Bonds - Euro sector.

In terms of sector breakdown, Leber has a strong bias towards banks, which make up 38.1% of his overall assets. This is followed by corporate bonds (34.4%) and supranational debt (11.5%).  As at the end of October, Deutsche Bank (8.1%), Santander (8.0%) and SocGen (5.4%) were his top holdings.

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