Absolute Return  

Winton launches absolute return multi-asset fund

Winton launches absolute return multi-asset fund

Winton, the British-based investment manager founded by David Harding in 1997, is launching an Absolute Return Futures fund on Monday (3 July).

The fund will be Ucits-compliant and regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

The fund has been designed for UK defined contribution pension schemes, financial advisers and wealth managers seeking conservative capital appreciation with low long-term correlation to equities and bonds. 

The investment objective is to deliver positive returns over rolling three-year periods by investing long and short in global futures and forwards across government bonds, interest rates, equity indices, currencies and commodities.

The fund will be available on major UK platforms, with daily liquidity. 

Winton will apply for the fund to be included in the Investment Association’s Targeted Absolute Return sector.

Mr Harding, Winton’s founder and chief executive, said: “With retirement saving in the UK shifting from defined benefit schemes to defined contribution schemes, the Winton Absolute Return Futures fund will help UK savers meet their retirement goals. 

“We believe the fund can play an important diversification role in DC schemes, as our strategies have done for DB pension schemes over the past 20 years.”

Jason Hollands, managing director of business development and communications at Tilney Investment Management Services, said Winton are a leading manager of data-driven, quant-based absolute return strategies, with the firm’s figurehead, David Harding, one of the original founders of AHL, now the flagship systematic strategic of Man Group. 

He said Winton certainly has the technical pedigree to launch a product like this within a Ucits structure and there is clearly strong demand for absolute return strategies among wealth managers.

But Mr Hollands said he suspected this fund would initially have limited appeal within the broad UK adviser market given unfamiliarity with the brand, the focus on the futures markets and the fact that Winton’s funds are not accessible on some of the widely used adviser platforms.  

He said: “It is however good to see a UK based specialist manager with a global business recognise the opportunities right on its doorstep and set out to grow its franchise amongst UK wealth managers.”

Winton's launch comes after the Financial Conduct Authority warned fund groups it continues to harbour concerns about the "potentially misleading" performance reporting used for absolute return strategies, suggesting the products are ripe for an overhaul.

In the final report from the FCA's asset management market study, the regulator stated it was "still concerned" about how fund firms report absolute return fund performance, as well as a broader disparity of approach from such products.

emma.hughes@ft.com