Columbia Threadneedle’s Universal fund range sees £45mn in monthly inflows

Columbia Threadneedle’s Universal fund range sees £45mn in monthly inflows

The Universal MAP range of multi-asset funds run by Keith Balmer and his colleagues at Columbia Threadneedle has attracted net inflows of around £550mn over the past twelve months, a run rate of around £45mn per month.

This is a range of funds originally launched by the same team who worked together at BMO, which was later acquired by Columbia Threadneedle in 2021.

The money is then managed by other members of the multi-asset team at the firm. 

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The Universal range is now £1.7bn in size with an annual management charge of 0.3 per cent.

The inflows came from across the conventional and sustainable Universal ranges, which are risk weighted.  

The non ESG part of the range has just reached its five year anniversary. In that time, the growth portfolio has delivered annualised returns of 5.8 per cent. The Balanced portfolio has produced annualised returns of 4.84 per cent. 

Keith Balmer, who jointly runs the range, says performance this year has been aided by nimbly moving the duration of the bond allocations. 

He said: “The balanced multi-asset fund has around 18 per cent in government bonds, we favoured index linked bonds until 2019, then we moved to nominal government bonds.

"During the pandemic we switched back to indexed linked bonds. Post-pandemic there wasn’t much point owning government bonds as the yields were so low, so we went down to 5 per cent, but have been increasing the allocation again since the mini-Budget.

"Right now both our tactical and strategic asset allocation is pointing the same way, which is towards increasing allocation to bonds.”

In terms of the equity exposure, he said “it looks as though we are heading towards a recession, we have built our equity exposures with that in mind".

Balmer added: "We allocate to each of the different equity factors, such as value, growth or momentum, but our overall approach is for growth at a reasonable price, with the aim of getting the best returns from each of those factors.

"Last year we looked at the equity portfolio, and thought we wanted a bit more of the value factor, so added that in, but now with the recession risks rising, we are reducing that back. It is definitely more of a two way bet now than it has been recently.”