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"We aim to provide investors with a diversified portfolio that targets both income and growth, aiming for 4% average annualized returns over a typical market cycle."
Co-founder, Co-CIO and Lead portfolio Managers at Plenisfer
The new Plensifer Destination Dynamic Income fund is a highconviction, unconstrained, goanywhere bond fund, that seeks to find ‘best-idea’ fixed income investments while navigating volatility.
The fund invests according to three strategies: Income, Macro Opportunities and Special Situations.
The manager believes that now is a good time to invest in the attractive yields offered by shortto medium-dated government bonds, combined with compelling corporate bond yields.
Bond investors are facing a critical juncture. We are nearing the end of the interest rate hike cycle, as signposted by the US Federal Reserve, which has suggested that we are likely at the peak. In my view, we will not return to the era of negative interest rates, and at Plenisfer we believe that inflation will be a rather resilient phenomenon, reinforced by higher energy prices and labor costs over the next few years. Higher inflation, and therefore higher interest rates, present opportunities for bond investors but require careful research and selection given we do not yet know at what equilibrium will settle at over the next five years.
For active managers like us, an uncertain environment such as this presents good hunting ground. We believe that now is an excellent time to invest selectively in the attractive yields offered by short- to medium- dated government bonds, combined with yield enhancement opportunities presented by compelling corporate bond spreads, particularly those in Europe.
This rare window of opportunity is why we have launched the new Plenisfer Destination Dynamic Income fund. The fund is a high-conviction, unconstrained, go-anywhere bond fund, providing us with the flexibility we need to search for ‘best-idea’ fixed income investments while navigating volatility. We aim to provide investors with a diversified portfolio that targets both income and growth, aiming for 4% average annualized returns1 over a typical market cycle.
In this fund, that looks like investing according to three strategies:
Income: Investing in investment grade debt, high yield, hybrid bonds, contingent convertibles and convertible bonds;
Macro Opportunities: Top-down investments that reflect our view of the world in terms of interest rates, currencies and sovereign spreads; and
Special Situations: Specific and uncorrelated investments generated by specific factors in stressed and distressed debt.
In this way, we aim to manage fund performance anti-cyclically, analysing individual risk premia across various types of credit and guided by the evolution of the economic cycle, rates and currencies.
While the European Central Bank’s stance on whether we are at the peak of the rate hiking cycle remains slightly more uncertain than the Federal Reserve, we believe European corporate bonds offer significant advantages compared to other regions. Leverage in European corporates is low, especially within investment grade. At the same time, European investment grade bonds spreads are at historically high levels, given the impact of recent market dislocations. Specifically, following the Credit Suisse crisis, European banks spreads widened to compensate investors with higher yields. It is possible to invest across the entire capital structure of banks, taking varying degrees of risk while achieving substantial returns, which we believe is an extremely interesting opportunity.
We see substantial risk associated with the real estate sector, particularly in the Nordic countries. However, by carefully selecting companies with quality assets and low loan-to-value ratios, there may be potential to achieve returns ranging from 5 to 6%. In terms of government bonds, we view Italian BTPs, specifically the 2-5 year part of the curve, as attractive.
Looking further afield, we see plenty of opportunities in Latin America. Given the complexity of the region, it is harder to access for investors, requiring specialized expertise, skills, and knowledge.
We are also interested in Southeast Asia where Indonesia offers interesting USD returns. Emerging markets as a whole offer opportunities to enhance portfolio yields, and we like economies with strong fundamentals. After the strong recent performance in local currencies by Brazil, Mexico and Indonesia, we favor the risk-adjusted returns offered by USD bonds, both in the corporate and sovereign space.
In terms of duration, given the current inversion of the US 2-10 year Treasury rate, we hold a steepening stance in the portfolio. We expect the normalization of the yield curve to generate strong returns.
Looking at the recent market events, we think that the fragility of the financial system imposes a ‘pause for reflection’ on central banks, stuck in the dilemma between managing system stability and fighting inflation. In the short term, the risk of recession is growing stronger, although a possible cyclical return of inflation cannot be excluded. That’s why we favour a cautious approach that balances short-dated government bonds with higher carry offered by quality crossover names and selective special situations. Given the uncertainty surrounding monetary policies and the slowdown in the economic cycle, we believe a flexible, unconstrained bond fund such as ours is well-placed to capitalise on the fixed income opportunities this environment presents.
1 This is an internal expected target return and not a promise on performance as this target return is not guaranteed. The investment objective may not be reached and you may not get back your initial investment amount.
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