BlackRock, the asset management giant which manages $6.3 trillion in assets has been awarded the Scottish Widows fund contract to manage its £30 billion passive strategies. This arrangement follows Lloyds Banking Group, Scottish Widows' parent company decision at the beginning of 2018 to put an end to the £109 billion contract with Standard Life Aberdeen. Standard Life Aberdeen is pursuing arbitration, however Lloyds believes the right to terminate the current asset management agreement will conclude early next year. Lloyds also said it would “pursue a strategic partnership with BlackRock including collaboration in alternative asset classes, risk management and investment technology”. The group added that it is nearing a final decision regarding the remaining £80 billion in assets that “are within the scope of the asset management review.”
HANetf, Europe’s first independent ‘white-label’ UCITS ETF platform with GinsGlobal Index Funds, has unveiled two new ETFs that were launched on 10 October. GinsGlobal Index Funds is a multi-billion dollar global asset management organisation. The two ETFs are the HANS-GINS Cloud Technology UCITS ETF (SKYY) and HAN-GINS Global Innovative Technologies ETF (ITEK). The ETFs have been launched on HANetf’s platform. These ETFs enable investors to gain exposure to companies leading transformative technological and industrial innovation on a global basis. The HAN-GINS Cloud Technology UCITS ETF tracks the Solactive Cloud Technology Index, an index of companies that are active in the field of cloud-based software and services. According to HANetf “the fund uses an artificial intelligence process to identify and capture a global cloud technology opportunity set with constituents weighted by market capitalization and capped at four percent”. The HAN-GINS Global Innovative Technology UCITS ETF tracks the Solactive Innovative Technologies Index. A global index of companies that are positioned to “benefit from tomorrow’s industrial revolutions.” The fund targets companies involved in Robotics and Automation, Cloud Computing and Big Data, Cyber Security, Future Cars, Genomics, Social Media, Augmented and Virtual Reality and Blockchain, enabling investors to gain exposure to many world changing, high-growth sectors in a single trade. These ETFs make GinsGlobal the second US asset manager and the first institutional asset manager to launch a UCITS ETF through the HANetf platform. Earlier this month Big Tree Capital was the first US asset manager to launch a UCITS ETF via HANetf, called the EMQQ Emerging Market Internet and Ecommerce UCITS ETF. HANetf seeks to remove the barriers from the European ETF market. Through the HANetf platform, asset managers can now have an ETF on market in under 100 days. This solution is especially attractive to US managers, who tend to see Europe as a much more complex set of markets, due to multiple exchanges, taxes and languages.
Invesco, the investment manager firm that has $988 billion in assets under management has launched the Invesco Variable Rate Preferred Shares UCITS ETF on the LSE on the 8 October. This ETF will deliver investors a “yield versus traditional US investment grade and high yield bonds”, as well as having an ongoing charge figure of 0.50 percent. The yield replicates changes in interest rates and is comparable to high yield bonds, but in an asset class with lower volatility. It tracks the Wells Fargo Diversified Hybrid and Preferred Securities Floating and Variable Rate Net Total Return index. According to Invesco, this is the first ETF in Europe that offers exposure to the $250 billion variable rate preferred shares market. Ideal shares are hybrid securities, which are mainly issued by banks and other financial companies who wish to raise capital without diluting the value of common equity shareholders. They are theoretically equities, however, they behave more like bonds due to the fact they have defined distributions and long-dated fixed maturity.
On 12 November BMO will be rebranding all of its F&C funds to BMO. Most funds will only see a change in name but some will also experience more substantial changes. BMO acquired F&C Asset Management in 2014 and since then has continued to release funds under the F&C name. F&C funds domiciled in the UK, Luxembourg, Ireland and Guernsey will all be renamed to BMO funds. BMO states that this move is designed to make finding their full range and information on individual funds easier. BMO have made it clear that these changes will not cost existing clients any money or affect the way their investments are managed. Such examples are the F&C Global Thematic Opportunities Fund being renamed the BMO Sustainable Opportunities Global Equity Fund. The £960 million F&C European Growth & Income Fund will also be renamed the BMO Select European Equity Fund. The F&C Multi-Manager Lifestyle range will be renamed BMO MM Lifestyle 3 through 7, which also gives the risk profile of the fund. These funds have also moved into the Investment Association (IA) Volatility Managed sector, “making it more straightforward for investors to identify the funds most suitable for them.” The F&C Multi-Manager Navigator fund range will also be implemented in to the BMO brand, whilst changing three of its funds names from Moderate, Progressive and Select to Cautious, Balanced and Growth respectively. Which BMO believes makes it easier, “for investors to understand the investment approach of the funds.”
RWC Partners, a UK-based specialist equities fund manager with £16 billion of assets under management as of August 2018 has raised £60 million of client money for its TM RWC UK equity fund, with the expectation of £100 million to be injected in to the fund over the next few weeks. This is equity veterans Nick Purves and Ian Lance’s fund. RWC said in a statement that “Ian and Nick are some of the longest standing intrinsic value investors in the sector and are providing the opportunity for investors to express a need for both income and value through the new fund". The fund is RWC’s first managed UK OEIC and focusses on the opportunities in value stocks Mr Purves, Mr Lance and their team believe are inherently undervalued, and sits within the Investment Association UK Equity Income sector. The fund’s portfolio has exposure to Capita, Marks & Spencer, Tesco and WM Morrison, with also around a fifth invested in financial institutions such as Standard Chartered, Barclays and RBS.
Coupland Cardiff Asset Management, the Asian equity specialist has launched a fund which aims to focus on capitalising on the rapid growth in domestic demand in India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Myanmar. The CC Indian Subcontinent Fund, will be focused on the opportunities that arise from within this region, which relies on a large domestic market. The investment team includes Abhinav Mehra, in Singapore and Andrew Draycott in the UK who will help to run the Irish domiciled fund. The fund will have a long-only equity portfolio and have between 25-40 holdings. It will be index agnostic and its goal will be to invest in high growth and high quality companies that attribute a lot of its growth to the Indian subcontinent domestic market. The subcontinent has a population of 1.7 billion which represents 24 percent of the world’s population and a GDP of $2.84 trillion. India is predicted to become the world’s third largest economy by 2027 as it will be worth $6 trillion, and is currently the world’s fastest growing economy.