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John Hancock launches Global Conservative Absolute Return Fund

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John Hancock has launched the John Hancock Global Conservative Absolute Return Fund to new sales for Class A, Class I and Class R6 shares. 

 
Standard Life Investments, which has managed absolute return assets since 2005, is the fund’s investment manager.   
 
"Our new John Hancock Global Conservative Absolute Return Fund (GCAR) is yet another example of our strategy of providing investors and financial advisors exclusive access to an array of alternative investing strategies managed by premier, institutional-calibre investment management firms," says Andrew G Arnott (pictured), president and chief executive officer, John Hancock Funds. 
 
"Compared with the John Hancock Global Absolute Return Strategies Fund, known as GARS and also managed by Standard Life Investments, the new GCAR fund offers investors the ability to further diversify their portfolios through an absolute return strategy with potentially lower volatility, zero equity exposure, and a more conservative investment philosophy.  GCAR may also potentially act as a fixed income substitute for investors who are concerned about rising interest rates and correlation to broad fixed income markets," says Arnott.
 
Launched late in 2011, GARS has been one of the fastest-growing funds for John Hancock, crossing the USD3bn in assets milestone in just 17 months.
 
Keith Skeoch, chief executive officer of Standard Life Investments, says: "John Hancock and Standard Life Investments share a common commitment to providing investors with innovative products designed to meet their specific investment needs.  The GCAR fund builds on our many years of experience of working in the multi-asset investing space. We believe that it will appeal to many investors looking to generate absolute returns with lower levels of volatility. The launch of the fund is further evidence of the growing relationship between Standard Life Investments and John Hancock, a relationship that allows us to deliver investment potential to the largest asset management market in the world. We look forward to working with John Hancock to help deliver absolute returns for their clients."
 
Ian Pizer and Roger Sadewsky, both investment directors, multi-asset investing with Standard Life Investments, are the portfolio managers for the GCAR fund. Pizer is responsible for the generation of interest rate strategies for inclusion across Standard Life Investments’ fixed-interest portfolios and for consideration by multi-asset portfolios. Additionally, he is chair of the bond investment group and a member of the strategic investment group. Sadewsky provides research input into the macro fixed income environment and has a specialist background in credit and credit derivatives.
 
The investment strategy underlying the GCAR fund was originally designed by Standard Life Investments to help a UK corporate client diversify its fixed income portfolio.  While GARS invests in a spectrum of equity, equity-like, fixed income and fixed income-like securities, GCAR has no equity or equity-like exposure, which leads the fund to have a fundamentally different risk/return spectrum that looks to deliver a return commensurate with a lowered risk profile.  GCAR has a 12 to 18 month outlook for each of its strategies, allowing it the ability to be slightly more tactical, compared with GARS’ three year outlook for strategies.
 
The GCAR fund seeks long term absolute return. It has a broad investment mandate that permits use of an extensive range of investment strategies and investment in a wide spectrum of fixed-income securities and currencies, as well as derivative instruments, in pursuing its investment objective. The portfolio managers employ an unconstrained approach to achieving absolute return via a diversified global portfolio.  The portfolio uses multiple strategies across various fixed-income asset classes and currencies. It aims to exploit market cyclicality and a diverse array of inefficiencies across and within global markets to achieve risk-adjusted absolute return, by investing in listed debt securities, and derivatives or other instruments, for both investments and hedging purposes. Derivative instruments routinely used may include futures, options, swaps and foreign currency forward contracts.

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