Scottish Widows Investment Partnership, the asset management arm of the UK's Lloyds TSB banking and insurance group, has launched a Luxembourg-based Sicav umbrella fund aimed at the continental European market.
SWIP says the registration of the fund is part of its international asset management distribution strategy, which aims to gain maximum exposure to the largest markets in Europe including Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the Netherlands, where the firm plans to register the Sicav later this year.
The Sicav will comprise a range of SWIP funds offering diversification across asset classes, including equities, bonds, indirect property and alternative asset classes. New fund launches within the structure will include the SWIP Absolute Return Macro, Euro Absolute Return, US Dollar Absolute Return Fund and High Alpha Euro Bond funds.
The fund structure will also include SWIP's Emerging Markets, European, European Smaller Companies and European Real Estate Securities funds, based on well-established UK SWIP funds with strong performance track records.
'Offering a Sicav structure will further increase the availability of SWIP's funds throughout continental Europe,' says head of distribution Simon Wombwell. 'We have already seen great success with new business wins in Southern Europe, Germany and Scandinavia across a range of asset classes. The Sicav will offer a range of funds from SWIP's core capabilities, which have different levels of risk and return.'
The absolute return range of funds within the Sicav aims to achieve a positive long-term capital return, regardless of market conditions, through investment in a diversified portfolio of assets including derivative contracts.
The SWIP High Alpha Euro Bond Fund, managed by the asset manager's experienced bond team, can invest in a range of fixed-interest securities, including euro-denominated government and corporate bonds, in order to achieve high alpha returns. All funds are available in euro and US dollar versions.
'The Sicav will offer a range of possibilities for clients' investment strategies including European large and small cap equities, focused returns from emerging markets as well as indirect access to the European real estate sector,' Wombwell says.
'We have added absolute return funds to the package in order to offer clients the chance for positive returns in falling markets and at a time when institutional clients across Europe are taking a much closer look at risk and return.'