James Williams, Hedgeweek

MainFirst launches UCITS to tap into CLO market… Lionel Paquin appointed CEO of Lyxor Asset Management…

Franklin Templeton Investments this week announced the launch of the Luxembourg-registered Franklin Euro Short Duration Bond Fund.  London-based David Zahn, head of European Fixed Income and lead portfolio manager, and Rod MacPhee, research analyst and portfolio manager, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group, will manage the fund.

The new fund will seek to preserve capital and liquidity while pursuing the best opportunities across a variety of European high-quality-short duration sectors.  It will invest primarily in short-dated fixed and floating-rate debt securities and debt obligations of corporate and sovereign issuers located within the Eurozone that are rated investment grade or, if unrated, of comparable quality.  It may also purchase securitised debt and certain financial derivative instruments including index-based financial derivatives, credit default swaps and currency forwards.
 
Drawing on the expertise of Franklin Templeton Investments’ global fixed income platform, this multi-sector strategy has a value-based investment style that is structured to pursue diversified sources of alpha across markets, sectors and securities. It will seek to add value to portfolios by identifying and exploiting market inefficiencies while employing a disciplined risk management process. 
 
Zahn commented: “We believe it is an opportune time to launch this fund as European short duration securities provide portfolio insulation and opportunity for enhanced return in rising rate environments. We find that European short duration fixed income is a growing sector as investors are continuing to seek yield with some level of protection from interest rate risk. The Franklin Euro Short Duration Bond Fund is suitable for investors looking for an actively-managed portfolio designed to help reduce overall portfolio risk.”
 
Jamie Hammond, Managing Director, Europe at Franklin Templeton Investments said: “The fund has been launched in response to client demand from continental Europe and will fill a natural product gap in Franklin Templeton’s European fixed income product range.”
 
Lyxor Asset Management has announced the appointment of Lionel Paquin as CEO, replacing Inès de Dinechin who is leaving the Group. Paquin will also join the Management Committee of the Global Banking & Investor Solutions group. Since 2011 Paquin has headed up the Lyxor Managed Accounts Platform as well as holding the position of Chief Risk Officer and Head of Internal Control at the firm reported fundssociety.com.  
 
Pittsburgh-based Confluence, a firm that delivers innovative solutions to fund administration and reporting through data consolidation and automation, announced this week the launch of Unity NXT Budgeting; a SaaS-enabled automated solution that enables UCITS managers to manage their fund expenses and protect profitability margins through greater control and transparency.
 
Skip Smith, Chief Operating Officer of Confluence, said that with Unity NXT Budgeting, fund managers “can now reap the benefits of a fixed operation charge ratio without struggling through the pain of a spreadsheet-based expense management solution”.
 
“Now for the first time, fund managers can make highly informed product decisions about which fund and share class offerings can optimize revenue potential,” said Smith.
 
"Unity NXT Budgeting allows managers to allocate expenses fairly across multiple currencies and share classes, something that was nearly impossible to do accurately with spreadsheets," says Melvin Jayawardana, European Market Manager for Confluence. “Managers now have an automated solution that will eliminate manual back office processes and provide transparency and governance around expense management.”
 
Unity NXT Budgeting enables fund managers to:

  • Automatically collect net assets, foreign exchange rates, and bulk invoice payment activity using a secure environment – including checking for missing data
  • Allocate payment activity to appropriate instruments
  • Create fund-level budgets in multiple currencies and project and allocate future expenses
  • Feel confident that the set ratio will cover expenses and more accurately evaluate profitability
  • Calculate, forecast and monitor margin data

German asset manager MainFirst has launched a Luxembourg-domiciled UCITS fund to take advantage of the European loan market by investing in CLO managers reported Citywire Global this week. The name of the fund is MainFirst CLO Investment Grade fund. It will invest in managers because UCITS rules prevent funds from investing directly in loans. Collateralised loan obligations are pools of loans that are structured into different tranches and sold as bonds to investors.
 
As Citywire Global reported, and as the name indicates, the fund will invest only in the investment grade part of the CLO market. Norbert Adam, head of corporate credit, will oversee the management of the fund in conjunction with fund managers Dr Klaus Ripper, Michael Hombach and Stamatia Hagenstein.   

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