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James Williams, Hedgeweek

Fidelity teams up with BlackRock to launch ETF managed account product… Neuberger Berman launches Emerging Market Debt Blend fund…

Neuberger Berman this week announced the launch of its Emerging Market Debt Blend Fund, a sub-fund of its Irish-domiciled UCITS fund umbrella, Neuberger Berman Investment Funds plc., following the success of the US regulated version of the same strategy, which launched in September 2013.

The Fund follows the successful introduction to the firm’s UCITS fund range of the Neuberger Berman Emerging Market Debt Hard Currency, Local Currency and Corporate Debt Funds in July 2013 and the Neuberger Berman Short Duration Emerging Market Debt Fund in December 2013. The lead managers of the fund are Rob Drijkoningen and Gorky Urquieta, Co-Heads of Neuberger Berman’s EMD team. The managers head Neuberger Berman’s 24-person global multi-site Emerging Market Debt team. 
Rob Drijkoningen, Co-Head of EMD, said: “We believe that the breadth of our team gives us the expertise required to fully exploit alpha opportunities across this asset class.  The Emerging Markets Debt Blend Fund offer investors an integrated portfolio of our best ideas and has the potential to improve the risk-return profile of our client’s portfolios.
Dik van Lomwel, Head of EMEA and LatAm, added: “Many investors prefer to delegate the asset allocation decision within EMD, and our investment team have the proven skills as well as the track record in this regard.”
With the introduction of the Emerging Market Debt Blend Fund, Neuberger Berman’s UCITS fund platform now consists of 21 funds ranging across the global asset class spectrum with over USD18bn in assets under management.
Fidelity Investments is teaming up with BlackRock Inc to launch an ETF-biased managed account reported Reuters this week. The BlackRock Diversified Income Portfolio will invest roughly 70 per cent in ETFs with Fidelity acting as the investment adviser to the portfolio under the arrangement. It will be available from the beginning of May to Fidelity’s retail customers.
Kathy Murphy, president of Fidelity Personal Investing was quoted as saying: “We have millions of customers in the pre-retiree category concerned about retirement income and making that money last through retirement. We think it will be very helpful to that specific segment of the market.
Reuters reported that the majority of the new portfolio will be invested in iShares ETFs, with the rest in mutual funds, Master Limited Partnerships and other investment vehicles.
Baltimore-based investment firm Brown Advisory has launched a UCITS-compliant version of its core US equity fund to European investors reported Citywire Global this week. The Brown Advisory US Flexible Equity fund will seek to mirror the Brown Advisory Flexible Equity fund, which launched in November 2006 and which has approximately USD149mn in AuM.
R. Hutchings Vernon and Michael Foss, who co-manage the US fund, will also steer the helm of the new Dublin-domiciled fund. The strategy follows a bottom-up stock selection methodology to build a portfolio of between 30 to 50 stocks. The majority of those positions are invested in mid- and large-cap stocks with a market capitalization of at least USD2bn.  
AMP Capital has appointed Kate Campbell as Institutional Director – Europe, where she will be based at the firm’s London office. AMP Capital is a leading investment house with over USD140bn in AuM and shares a 160-year heritage with AMP group, one of Australia’s largest insurance and investment providers. Its core expertise lies in infrastructure and real estate. 
Campbell will work alongside Louisa Yeoman, Institutional Director – UK, to develop AMP Capital’s European institutional client business and will report to Richard Shields, AMP Capital Managing Director Europe, Middle East & Africa.
Shields said: “I’m pleased to announce Kate’s appointment at an exciting time for AMP Capital given the recent launch of our UCITS platform for global listed infrastructure and global listed real estate. Kate’s efforts will be focused on fundraising for this new platform and for AMP Capital’s unlisted infrastructure business where we already have a range of well-established equity and debt funds. She will work with clients such as pension funds, insurers, private banks and multi managers.”
Campbell joins AMP Capital from J.P. Morgan where she was Executive Director, Capital Introduction, in the bank’s prime brokerage division.
Earlier this month, AMP Capital announced the launch of a Luxembourg-domiciled UCITS platform, which offers UCITS versions of its Global Listed Infrastructure Fund and Global Real Estate Securities Fund to institutional investors in the UK, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

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