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Lloyds TSB to invest GDP300m in Julius Baer bond fund

Lloyds TSB has announced that it is investing GBP300-400m in the Julius Baer Absolute Return Bond Fund.

Lloyds TSB Private Banking will include the fund in its discretionary portfolio management service and it is expected that up to five per cent of future inflows into this service will also be allocated to the fund.

The fund is one of the bond funds being marketed by Julius Baer Investment Product's new London distribution team, established in June this year.

It uses an unleveraged long/short approach to deliver absolute returns over the medium term by investing in fixed income instruments across a wide variety of maturities, credits, sectors, countries and currencies.

Between launch on 1 May, 2004 and 30 September this year, its B shares in the Euro currency class returned 17.35 per cent, outperforming Euribor by 1.89 per cent.

The fund managers are Tim Haywood and Daniel Sheard of Augustus Asset Managers Limited, the external sub-advisor.

Eddy Reynolds, head of investment - strategy and product, Lloyds TSB Wealth Management, says: 'We have invested in the Julius Baer Absolute Return Bond Fund as we believe it has the ability to deliver positive performance in a variety of market conditions. We seek diversification by investing outside of traditional investment strategies and the Julius Baer fund is run by an experienced team with specialist expertise in niche fixed income markets. The fund has delivered consistent positive returns with low volatility since launch in May 2004 and we believe its inclusion in the portfolios will help us continue to generate attractive returns for our investors.'

Stephen Moore, head of sales UK at Julius Baer Investment Products, adds: 'Wealth managers are a key target for us and this win is a great start to our UK business. Lloyds TSB is a prestigious name and the investment is testimony to the fund's robust investment strategy and proven track record. There is a strong appetite among our target market for actively managed funds which offer low correlation to traditional assets.'

Julius Baer is a wealth manager based in Switzerland, which concentrates exclusively on private banking and asset management for sophisticated private and institutional clients.

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