Speakers and topics

High yield: unlocking opportunities and avoiding pitfalls

Aegon High Yield Global Bond Fund

High yield bonds had a banner year in 2023, with double-digit returns. As the economic outlook evolves, what lies ahead for the high yield market? Elevated yields are attractive but slowing economic conditions present challenges. While this environment warrants balancing caution and optimism, high yield bonds can serve a key role in investors’ portfolios in the year ahead.

Portfolio manager
Aegon Asset Management

Mark specialises in high yield bonds and co-manages the firm's global high yield strategies. He is also a member of the global leveraged finance team. Prior to his current role, he worked for Scottish Widows Investment Partnership where he was an analyst on the global equities team. Previous to this, he worked at Morgan Stanley as a financial analyst.

Why not for US smaller companies?

Artemis US Smaller Companies Fund

Despite the recent strong performance of ssmaller companies in the US, this does not dampen Artemis' view that these more domestically-focused businesses represent a significant opportunity for investors moving forward. They firm feels that being active, and flexible in your approach is essential to fully benefit from the diverse opportunity set that is currently available, while also avoiding those areas that are showing greatest weakness.

Fund manager

Cormac has managed Artemis’ US equity strategies since launch. After moving to Provident Mutual where he was a US equity analyst, Cormac spent two years as a fund manager for the British Gas Pension Fund. He joined Threadneedle in 1997, later becoming head of the North America team and the lead manager of three of its US funds. He moved to Artemis in 2014.

Capturing value in corporate bonds

Baillie Gifford Strategic Bond Fund

Corporate credit markets currently offer attractive all in yields relative to history. In this presentation, Robert, co-manager of the Baillie Gifford Strategic Bond Fund, will outline the case for corporate bonds and present the Baillie Gifford Credit Team’s best ideas. He will argue that a straightforward, strategic approach to corporate bond investing provides the most solid fixed income platform for balanced portfolios.

Head of credit research
Baillie Gifford

Robert is co-manager of the strategic bond and high yield strategies. He joined Baillie Gifford in 2001 on the graduate scheme and became an investment gradebond manager in 2004. He has managed high yield portfolios since 2010 and crossover portfolios since 2012.

In a world of change, take a new perspective

Capital Group New Perspective Fund (Lux)

While change is constant and the world continually adapts, we are currently facing several era-defining shifts happening at the same time, from geopolitics and economic volatility, to transformative developments across artificial intelligence, healthcare and energy. From an investment perspective, it is key to find strategies that can evolve in the same way, with flexibility to capitalise on new opportunities.

Equity investment director, portfolio strategy manager
Capital Group

Sustainable investing: time for a re-think?

CCLA Better World Global Equity Fund

Eighty-one percent of adults would like the way their money is invested to do some good as well as provide a financial return (FCA, 2022). Few would disagree that this is an appealing idea. Yet, against a general backdrop of higher-than-average fees for below average performance, ESG investing has had a torrid time. Charlotte and Amy will begin by challenging many deep-seated assumptions about the role of sustainable finance in the modern economy, before introducing a fresh and enlightened approach to good investment.

Head of investments
CCLA Investment Management

Charlotte is responsible for managing global equity portfolios. She spent the first 15 years of her career at Newton IM where she was a multi-asset manager, and subsequently a global equities manager, for UK and international pension funds. She joined CCLA in 2016 from EFG, where she was a senior portfolio manager.

Stewardship lead
CCLA Investment Management

Amy is part of CCLA’s sustainability team, working to develop, embed and promote ethical and responsible investment principles and behaviours across all business activities. She joined CCLA in 2020 from Cazenove having started her career at Sarasin & Partners. She has 12 years’ experience in investing for charities and non-profit organisations.

Embrace the income-ing year

JPM Global Equity Income Fund

While global equity markets have enjoyed a strong run, breadth has been lacking with gains dominated by a narrow group of AI-fuelled US mega caps. Now, more than ever, it’s important for investors to find the right balance between accessing powerful structural tailwinds, but not overpaying for growth. Michael will discuss his outlook and positioning against the current market backdrop as well as the process driving stock selection in the portfolio. The JPM Global Equity Income focuses on both dividend yield and dividend growth to construct a portfolio utilising the company insights from the firm's network of 80+ experienced in-house fundamental research analysts located around the world.

Portfolio manager, JPM international equity group
J.P. Morgan Asset Management

Michael is a member of the JP Morgan AM Global Core portfolio management team, with a focus on income mandates. An employee since 2019, he was previously with HSBC Global Asset Management.

Current market conditions supportive for identifying attractively valued leading companies

IFSL Marlborough UK Multi-Cap Growth

Manager of Marlborough UK Multi-Cap Growth and head of the UK and European equities funds team

Richard qualified as a chartered accountant at Ernst & Young in 1994 and subsequently joined Singer & Friedlander in 1995 as a UK equity fund manager. Since joining the investment team in 2005, he has established a strong and consistent track record as manager of the Multi-Cap Growth Fund.

Europe: the case for defensive dividends

Polar Capital European ex-UK Income Fund

Nick will share his views on the outlook for opportunities within European income. He will argue that a contrarian approach to picking good companies that are out of favour is better positioned in the current uncertain macroeconomic backdrop than deep value or expensive growth. He will also discuss how the fund is positioned in light of this, highlighting the assets with characteristics currently piquing his interest.

Fund manager, Polar Capital European ex-UK Income Fund
Polar Capital

Nick joined Polar Capital in 2014 to set up the European income team. Prior to this, he was with Threadneedle where he managed the Threadneedle European Fund and Pan European Equity Dividend Fund, both of which were top quartile performers since inception. He was also deputy fund manager of the Threadneedle European Select Fund. Previously, he was a sell-side analyst at Sanford Bernstein and a chartered accountant with Deloitte.

The case for listed infrastructure: optimism in 2024

Global Sustainable Listed Infrastructure Fund

Rishika will discuss the current opportunity in listed infrastructure and what makes it a good fit for investors looking to achieve compelling financial returns and positive sustainability outcomes. Today, the asset class offers attractive valuations, resilient fundamentals that offer defence in light of market volatility, and complements existing investor allocations. Rishika believes GLI will outperform equities in 2024 and will continue to deliver comparable long term returns to equities at meaningfully lower volatility.

Senior analyst, Principal Listed Infrastructure
Principal Asset Management

Rishika is responsible for equity analysis and security selection across transportation and communications infrastructure in Europe and North America for the global listed infrastructure strategy. Prior to joining in 2022, she served as head of European transport and infrastructure equity research at Barclays. She started her career at Barclays as a sell side analyst in 2011 and has focused on EU transportation for the past eight years.

The return of the total return kings

TM Redwheel UK Equity Income Fund

As investors have continued to ignore the historically low valuation of UK equities, two types of buyers have emerged. The first is overseas corporate buyers and the second is UK companies that are now buying back their own stock at the greatest rate in recent history. This presentation will look at how Redwheel believes a combination of dividends and share re-purchases may deliver attractive total returns for investors with potentially minimal risk.

Portfolio manager, UK Value and Income Strategy

Nick joined Redwheel in August 2010 as portfolio manager in the UK Value & Income team, together with Ian Lance. He worked at Schroders for more than 16 years, initially joining in 1994 as an analyst before moving into portfolio management. He managed both Institutional Specialist Value Funds and the Schroder Income and Income Maximiser Funds together with his long-standing colleague Ian Lance.

Re-thinking the emerging markets rule book

Schroders Emerging Market Value

What works in emerging markets? Most people will instantly think of growth stocks and equity market returns with strong positive correlations with GDP growth. So most people would be surprised to hear that value has outperformed growth in emerging markets over the long-term. This makes perfect sense. A value investing style was born in the 1930s in the US when the market had many of the characteristics that are present in emerging markets today. While we have seen a style rotation in favour of value over the past three years, Schroders believes the stars are aligning for value during the next decade, with the opportunity set looking extremely compelling. The mood today may be of uncertainty, but Schroders are ready to steer the ship through these stormy waters. As the saying goes: 'a ship in harbour is safe, but that is not what ships are built for'.

Fund manager, global value team

Vera has been a co-manager of the emerging market managed value portfolios at Schroders since 2020. She first Joined the global value team in 2018 as an analyst. Her investment career began in 2012 at Baillie Gifford on its graduate training scheme. She subsequently became an analyst for UK equity and international equity and was promoted to fund manager on the Global Income Growth product in September 2017.

From positive opportunity to your portfolio: positioning environmental change in a diversified equity allocation

Vontobel Fund – Global Environmental Change

As Impact Investing matures, opportunities have evolved. Today’s leading companies have scale, offer profitability and durable earnings growth. What do these companies provide that might compliment traditional equities? How can equity investors truly have a positive impact? With 15 years track record, Vontobel has the experience to capture the structural investment opportunity of our age.

Client portfolio manager, executive director
Vontobel Asset Management

Marco joined Vontobel AM in 2013. He covers the listed impact strategies within the sustainable equities boutique. Previously, he held similar roles at Vescore AG and at Notenstein La Roche Privatbank AG, both of which Vontobel acquired later on. From 2010 to 2013, he was head of client portfolio management at Bank J. Safra Sarasin AG in Basel. Previously, he worked at Bank Sarasin AG in Munich. and HSBC GAM (Deutschland) in Düsseldorf.