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Eastspring steps up multi-asset game

Eastspring Investments is looking at ESG- and China-focused multi-asset products while adding people to the investment team, according to Colin Graham, Singapore-based chief investment officer for multi-asset solutions.
Colin Graham, Eastspring Investments

The firm has three multi-asset funds, including the Global Market Navigator Fund, which is focused on growth, and the Global Multi Asset Income Plus Growth Fund, which centers on capital preservation, according to Graham. The third fund is a Singapore-based CPF fund.

The firm is planning to launch more multi-asset products and is evaluating themed ideas such as ESG, according to Graham. He is considering using the investment process of the Global Market Navigator Fund as a model to create an ESG- or SRI-labelled fund.

“We think there is a big trend in ESG and sustainable investing.”

In March, the firm signed the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment and management said they are implementing a formal and consistent ESG focus across all asset classes, research and investment decision-making.

Another multi-asset consideration is a China-focused strategy.

“Given that we have just got the WFOE licence, we are thinking about China multi-asset, which is definitely on the radar,” he said, adding that the firm would have to build up its onshore China operation.

Graham noted that these themes are still in the idea stage. The firm is consulting with other business units under parent Prudential to understand client demand.

Hiring plans

Plans are also underway to hire more staff for the three-person multi-strategy team. Graham expects to add a portfolio manager and a researcher, but he declined to give further details.

Eastspring created Graham’s role in a move to have a dedicated team managing multi-asset solutions on behalf of clients. He joined the firm in January and was previously BNP Paribas Asset Management’s CIO for multi-asset solutions. Before that, he spent 10 years at Blackrock, the last three as co-head of global multi-asset strategies.

Prior to Graham’s appointment, the firm’s multi-asset strategies were run by its global asset allocation team, which was responsible for both asset management and insurance client investments (that team now exclusively manages money for the parent group’s insurance arm).

“We needed a dedicated team that is going to grow external assets for multi-asset solutions,” Graham said. “It is going to be an evolution, not a revolution.”

The team will make use of Blackrock’s Alladin platform, which is a portfolio management, trading and risk management tool. Additionally, the funds now also have a wider remit and will be using more derivatives, he added.

 


The Global Market Navigator Fund and the Global Multi Asset Income Plus Growth Fund versus their sector.

Source: FE Analytics. Fund and sector NAVs have been converted to US dollars for comparison purposes. Global Market Navigator has assets of $181.9m and Global Multi Asset Income Plus Growth’s AUM is $153.9m, according to their fund factsheets.

Part of the Bonhill Group.