Article date: 12 March 2008
Morley, Aviva's UK-based asset management business, has announced the launch of a Euro-hedged share class for the Aviva Morley Global Convertibles Fund in response to an increase in demand for convertibles from European investors.
The Aviva Morley Global Convertibles Fund aims, by investing fully in convertibles, to outperform the UBS Global Costed Focus Index, something it has managed to achieve every calendar year since it was established in April 2002. The fund had more than US$1 billion of assets at 31 December 2007 and is the second-largest SICAV fund (Société d'Investissement à Capital Variable - "investment company with variable capital", the French equivalent of a unit trust) in the Aviva Morley SICAV.
The new Euro-hedged share class will target European investors, giving them the option of whether or not they want to access the fund via an unhedged US dollar share class or via the hedged Euro share class, which offers reduced currency risk.
The fund, which was awarded an "AA" rating by Standard & Poor's last year, has been managed by David Clott, Shawn Mato and Tom Wills since it was established in April 2002. The investment team aims to identify convertibles that offer gains in rising equity markets as well as downside protection in falling markets. The focus on capturing these asymmetric return opportunities has proven extremely attractive to investors during periods of equity market volatility. Last year the fund outperformed the MSCI World Index, as demand for convertibles increased amid turmoil in credit markets and fluctuations in global stock markets.
"Demand for convertibles is strengthening in almost all markets because of concern over equity market volatility," fund manager Tom Wills explains. "Issuance of convertibles in Europe is still trailing far behind development in the USA, the UK and Asia."
"We believe that our new Euro-hedged share class will help us to capture some of the increased demand for convertibles in Europe," says Dirk Skarba, head of Germany Austria Switzerland. "Convertibles are one of the areas we are planning to use to bring the German-speaking market on board, because they are one of our core skills, alongside property, tactical asset allocation and SRI." Dirk Skarba took the helm for German-speaking Europe on 1 March in Frankfurt. By appointing Skarba as head of Germany Austria Switzerland, Morley has underlined its plans for expansion of business in continental Europe.
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Note for editors:
Morley is the UK-based asset management business of Aviva plc. Firms within the Morley group of companies manage £164 billion (€223 billion) from offices around the world as at 31 December 2007.
Morley manages both institutional and retail funds. It also acts as investment manager for a range of retail investment funds, marketed in the UK under the Norwich Union brand and in Europe under the Morley name. The property team manages in excess of £31 billion (€43 billion) of UK and European property assets.
On 28 March 2008, Aviva plc announced it was combining its asset management businesses to create a single, globally integrated asset manager to be known as Aviva Investors - to be launched formally in September 2008.
Aviva Investors will be the global asset management business of Aviva plc, the world's fifth-largest insurer. Firms that will become Aviva Investors have £316 billion (€417 billion) of assets under management as at 28 February 2008 and significant growth potential.
Operating under a single brand with more than 1,300 employees in 15 countries across Europe, North America and Asia, and subject to regulatory approval, Aviva Investors will combine businesses in the UK (Morley Fund Management), North America (Aviva Capital Management, MFM International, Aviva Investment Canada), France (Aviva Gestion d'Actifs), Australia (Portfolio Partners), Poland (CUIM Polska), Ireland (Hibernian Investment Managers), Spain (Aviva Gestion SGIIC (Gestora) and Romania (CertInvest) and work in partnership with Delta Lloyd Asset Management in the Netherlands.
Past performance is not a guide to the future. The value of an investment and any gains from that investment can go down as well as up. The distribution and offering of shares may be restricted by law in certain jurisdictions. The content of this press release should not be taken as an offer or a recommendation to buy.
Copies of the Full and Simplified Prospectus together with the Report and Accounts of the SICAV are available free of charge from Morley Fund Management Limited, No. 1 Poultry, London EC2R 8EJ, or from Aviva Fund Services, 34 avenue de la Liberté, 4th floor, L-1930 Luxembourg. R.C.S. Luxembourg B25708.
Recent Morley awards
- Morley's G7 Fund awarded Fixed Income Hedge Fund of the Year, Eurohedge Awards 2007
- Best Property Manager, Financial News Excellence in Institutional Management Awards, Europe 2007
- Morley ranks no.1 fund manager in the Thomson Extel SRI Survey, 2007
- Property Manager of the Year, UK Pensions Awards 2007
- Morley's G7 Fund awarded Fixed Income Hedge Fund of the Year, Eurohedge Awards 2006
- Equity End User of the Year - Derivatives Week DEAL Awards 2006
- Property Fund Manager of the Year, Pensions Management Awards 2006
- Best Commitment to Raising Standards of Trustee Education, Engaged Investor Awards 2006
- Property Fund Manager of the Year, Property Week Awards 2006
- SRI Provider of the Year, Global Pensions 2006
- Central European Property Awards 2005 - Outstanding Company of the Year & Investor of the Year
- UK Pensions Awards 2005 - Property Manager of the Year
- Building a global asset management capability is one of Aviva's strategic priorities and as such Aviva Investors will be a key component in Aviva's composite model of long-term savings, general insurance and asset management.
- Aviva is the leading provider of life and pension products in Europe with substantial positions in numerous other markets around the world, making it the world's fifth largest insurance group based on gross worldwide premiums as at 31 December 2006.
- Aviva's principal business activities are long-term savings, fund management and general insurance, with worldwide total sales of £49.2 billion (€66.78 billion) and funds under management of £364 billion (€540 billion) as at 31 December 2007.
- The Aviva media centre at www.aviva.com/media includes images, company and product information and a news release archive.