Hong Kong – House Awards: Global Fixed Income

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Pillar 1. Investment process

To examine the principles and the team’s investment style and consistencies, accountability, and investor alignment

Pillar 2. Portfolio construction

To examine the portfolio disciplines, liquidity capability, investment/ divestment principles, and research resources

Pillar 3. Performance & Risk

To examine how performances and risks are generated, net returns together with drawdowns and recovery and investor diversification

Pillar 4. Stewardship

To examine the manager’s commitment to engagement and disclosure, responsible shareholding policies, and driving changes for investees

Pillar 5. Corporate Quality

To examine the company's commitment to responsible stewardship while ensuring healthy and sustainable growth

CONTESTANTS
No Information

Presenter

Shaojun CAI , Portfolio Manager, International Fixed Income
E Fund Management
Category: Global Fixed Income

Jurors

  1. Leo Lee, CIO, Grace Harmony (Hong Kong) Limited
  2. Peter Ryan-Kane, Founder, PeRK Advisory
  3. Elsa Pau, CEO, WealthAsia Group

How are the bonds selected? Please could we have some additional information for the selection process?

Credit research plays a substantial part of the investment process. Once macro-driven ideas are generated, more traditional fundamental analysis is completed at the company level. Understanding the business, dissecting the company financials, and determining a relative value metric are all considered prior to any buying decision (bond selection) being made.

The team evaluates and selects individual securities as follows:

1. Corporate Debt – We assess the business risks and prospects of issuers and score credits based on the following metrics:

– the quality of a company’s earnings in relation to management’s goals and risk tolerance

– any specific issuer bond covenants

– the position of an issue within the capital structure

– the value and range of the firm’s assets across the respective capital structure

2. Sovereign Debt – One of the key differentiators of the Fund is our active approach to duration management and our ability to add value through these selection decisions. While our duration positioning has been additive to performance, we have also exhibited strong downside protection by tactically adding safe-haven duration during times of stress. Sovereign debt decisions are determined by gaining a full understanding of the following factors:

– real interest rates (both short-term and long-term) – We prefer real interest rates to be attractive relative to prevailing macro conditions.

– political/economic conditions – We prefer that fiscal and monetary policy are being conducted in a manner that supports growth without overstimulating inflation

3. Securitized – A structured deal library is used to narrow down prospective securitized deals in specific sectors. The goal is to seek high loss-adjusted yields and absolute return with a high margin of safety as well as identify securities with pricing anomalies due to various dislocations, idiosyncratic situations, and unusual market technicals. In-depth analysis into deal collaterals is performed to calibrate the assumption input for our valuation model and stress tests, which in turn help us select the most attractive tranche of the capital stack in terms of risk/reward. We also assess correlations with other asset classes to determine the right degree of concentration commensurate the team’s conviction and macroeconomic outlook.

The Fund will often concentrate the number of securities to a more limited number than typical industry averages for multi-sector portfolios. This curated approach to security selection provides the Fund with an additional source of alpha. Position sizes are conviction-weighted and consider expected return, the probability of achieving that return, volatility considerations, intra-portfolio correlations, and liquidity considerations.

Presenter

Brian Kloss , PM
Reina Berlien , Head of ESG
Franklin Templeton Investments
Category: Global Fixed Income

Observers (Muted):
1. Jonathan Lim
2. Luiza Lee

Jurors

  1. Alvin Ma, Managing Director, Axiom Investment Management
  2. Catherine Chen, Founder & CEO , AvantFaire Investment Management Limited
  3. Wyman Leung, Chief Investment Officer, AMG Financial Group Ltd
  4. Janet Li, Wealth Business Leader, Asia, Mercer