e-fundresearch: Which benchmark do you adhere to?
Gaiser: We look at the peer group of European High Yield bond funds but also use the Merrill Lynch HPS2 Index (European Currency High Yield Constraint Ex. Subordinated Financials Index).
e-fundresearch: Are you also responsible for other funds at the moment?
Gaiser: I am also co-managing the Threadneedle Credit Opportunities fund as well as several segregated mandates.
e-fundresearch: What is the total volume that you manage in all your funds?
Gaiser: approx. EUR 1.1 bln total.
e-fundresearch: Regarding the performance: which performance did you achieve since the beginning of the year and in the years 2004-2009? Absolutely and relatively to the relevant benchmark?
e-fundresearch: How content are you with your own performance in the last years and this year?
Gaiser: Since the beginning of the year, the fund has largely performed in line with the market, which is a bit frustrating because we have had our conviction positions on. However, over the last few years we have performed very well, both versus the market and our peergroup with less volatility.
e-fundresearch: How are you able to deliver added value for your investors with your performance?
Gaiser: We are very transparent towards our investors with regards to what we do in the funds. This can give them confidence to understand what is going on, especially in the volatile market over the last 2 years. Because the fund has been much less volatile than the market, investors were confident enough to remain invested or increase their investment – so they have benefited from the strong rebound. Overall, we target medium term performance and have delivered out-performance with less volatility over the last years.
e-fundreseach: How long have you been a fund manager already?
Gaiser: I have been managing High Yield funds for over 10 years now.
e-fundresearch: What were your biggest successes and your biggest disappointments in your career as fund manager?
Gaiser: I take it as a success when clients or former clients, whom I have know for a long time, ring me when they have questions about the market and ask me for my opinion.
e-fundresearch: What kind of capital market situation do we have at the moment? How do you act in this environment?
Gaiser: It’s pretty tricky, since investors are uncertain and nervous. There are many moving parts with public deficits, questions about growth, banks’ solvability… so it is especially important currently to have one’s own convictions and a “steady hand” approach.
e-fundresearch: What are the special challenges in this environment?
Gaiser: In fixed income, investors have been burnt a few times over the last few years: structured products, subordinated bank debt, now government bonds. That creates a lot of uncertainty. So people are scared to take risks, but need to invest since they don’t earn anything in the money market.
e-fundresearch: What objectives do you have till the end of the year and in the mid term for the upcoming 3 to 5 years?
Gaiser: Try to continue to achieve steady performance and striking the right risk / return balance. Over the next years I truly believe that High Yield is a very exciting asset class and we will see many opportunities because of the increased need by issuers to come to the market.
e-fundresearch: What motivates you in your job?
Gaiser: I like to look at companies, take investment decisions and then be responsible for them. Because performance is transparent and clear in fund-management, there is no hiding place. It’s a permanent challenge. I like that.
e-fundresearch: What else do you want to achieve or do you have any further aims as a fund manager?
Gaiser: I strongly believe in striking the right balance both at work and outside work – that’s what I aspire to.
e-fundresearch: What other profession would you have taken interest in, apart from becoming a fund manager?
Gaiser: I might have become an engineer in bionics, but my interest in economics turned out to be stronger. If I would spend more time playing the piano I might aspire to try my luck as a Jazz-Pianist.
e-fundresearch: Thank you for the interview!