William Blair Investment Management (WBIM) has launched an Absolute Return Currency SICAV strategy, which maintains long and short exposures across a broad universe of currencies with a view to profit from FX movements.
Employing an actively managed approach, the Absolute Return Currency Fund will include exposures to more than 30 currencies from developed and developing economies.
The portfolio will be managed by WBIM’s Dynamic Allocation Strategies (DAS) team, overseen by Brian Singer, CFA, Partner, Portfolio Manager and Head of the DAS team, and Thomas Clarke, Partner and Portfolio Manager.
The Fund aims to act as a diversifying complement to traditional and alternative portfolios, with a return profile expected to be uncorrelated to equity and bond markets over the longer-term. The team adopts a top-down fundamental investment approach, focusing on expected changes in exchange rates and an assessment of currency valuations, aiming to exploit value to price discrepancies while seeking an attractive return/risk profile.
The Absolute Return Currency SICAV is the thirteenth William Blair strategy to be launched for global investors and the second managed by the DAS team (Dynamic Diversified Allocation). As of 30 September 2021, the company manages USD4.28 billion of assets within its SICAV across Emerging Markets Growth, Emerging Markets Leaders, Emerging Markets Small Cap Growth, Emerging Markets Debt Hard Currency, Emerging Markets Debt Local Currency, Dynamic Diversified Allocation, China A-Shares Growth, Global Leaders Sustainability, Global Leaders, US Small-Mid Cap Growth, US Small-Mid Cap Core, and US All Cap Growth SICAV vehicles.
Brian Singer, CFA, Partner, Portfolio Manager, and Head of William Blair’s Dynamic Allocation Strategies (DAS) Team, says: “The Absolute Return Currency strategy seeks to provide investors with the potential to benefit from positive returns over a market cycle that are expected to be uncorrelated to equities and bonds, complementing traditional portfolio allocations through an absolute return approach. We believe active currency capabilities can improve portfolio efficiency through return enhancement and risk mitigation.”
Thomas Clarke, Partner & Portfolio Manager, Dynamic Allocation Strategies (DAS) Team, adds: “The Absolute Return Currency strategy builds on our team’s multi-decade approach to active currency management. While it has been our experience that our currency management has delivered consistent performance in a variety of environments over that time, we believe the current environment of low yields and many equity segments appearing fully valued make a diversified approach like the one embodied within Absolute Return Currency especially attractive.”