F&C exploits downturn to increase equity weighting

F&C exploits downturn to increase equity weighting

F&C Investments’ multi-manager team has used the downturn in markets to increase its equity weighting but still has excess cash to invest.

Scott Spencer, a manager on the team, said a move had been made to add to stocks and return them to an overweight position in the asset class.

The team had been 5 percentage points overweight equities at the start of the year but pared this back to a neutral stance as valuations, in its view, started reaching toppy levels.

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Cash levels also built up as the team’s funds received inflows but when the managers sought to invest the money “everything seemed fully valued”.

But the most recent sell-off prompted the team to put some cash back into markets, although the portfolios still hold roughly 5 per cent in cash.

“The market never really got to a point where it was really worth ramping up equity exposure,” Mr Spencer said.

The team holds Hermes’ Asia ex Japan Equity fund, run by Jonathan Pines, and its Global Emerging Markets fund, run by Gary Greenberg.

The team also added incrementally to Andrew Swan’s BlackRock Asia fund.