Investments  

Royal London launches multi-asset fund

Royal London launches multi-asset fund

Royal London Asset Management has launched the Multi Asset Strategy fund, which aims to limit downside risk for investors.

The fund, which will be managed by Trevor Greetham, head of multi-asset at the firm, was created in November with £100m in backing.

Half of the initial capital came from an external institutional investor, and the insurance division of the Royal London also contributing assets at launch.

Mr Greetham said while a global recession was "closer" now than it has been for most of the past decade, it remained unlikely to happen in 2019.

The fund manager said he had been buying more equities in recent months as he felt the recent lurch downward in equity markets had pushed valuations to a level where, in many cases, an imminent recession was expected.

The two areas of the equity market in which he has been investing more are emerging markets and Japan.

He said the US dollar should be weaker in 2019 than it has been in previous years, because policy makers have reached the point where they fear that further interest rate rises will bring forward the time when the recession happens.

A weaker US dollar is generally good for emerging market assets as it means companies and countries in those areas can borrow at a cheaper rate, which fosters economic growth.

He is less keen on alternative income assets, which, he said, had proved to be very popular in recent years with many fund managers.

He said the liquidity of those assets at a time of market strife was not known, while higher bond yields meant the income from those assets became relatively less attractive.

Ben Yearsley, director at Shore Financial Planning said: I can't get excited. What's different to a host of other multi manager funds out there? It always makes me nervous when funds launch trying to capture the market yet limit downside."

david.thorpe@ft.com