e-fundresearch.com: How would you describe your investment strategy in one sentence?
Rodica Glavan: The Insight emerging market debt strategy invests on a ‘best ideas’ basis, unrestricted by the constraints of investing against a traditional index.
e-fundresearch.com: To what extent has your strategy been able to benefit from last year's market environment and which particular investment themes have delivered the strongest performance contribution?
Rodica Glavan: 2015 was an extremely challenging year for EMD assets. Volality stemming from worries over slowing Chinese growth, sharp falls in commodity prices, idiosyncratic political risk (Brazil) and the prospect of higher interest rates in the US led to double-digit falls in local currency bond indices. In this environment our ability to act nimbly and take long and short positions meant that we could avoid the some of the sharp drawdowns.
e-fundresearch.com: With regards to the new year: How optimistic is your view into the future and what obstacles and challenges will your strategy need to overcome in 2016?
Rodica Glavan: For the near term, commodity prices and China growth data and fx policies will remain the main drivers of price action in EM, as volatility stays elevated and differentiation across countries remains low. However, valuations across all EM debt asset classes have adjusted significantly. Thus, we maintain a defensive strategy and tactical trading approach for the immediate term but acknowledge that value has been created. We will revise our stance once we get more clarity on China growth and fx policies and see some stabilization in commodity prices.
e-fundresearch.com: How would rising interest rates affect your strategy?
Rodica Glavan: The start of the Fed interest rate hiking cycle has been anticipated for so long that its effect on EM debt may be muted as it decreases uncertainty and may also be symptomatic of diminished concerns on global growth.
e-fundresearch.com: Why should investors consider an increase in allocation to your strategy in 2016?
Rodica Glavan: Emerging market debt is a global asset class that offers investors the potential return and diversification benefits of investing in economies at different stages of economic and structural development. We believe there is a range of attractive opportunities, including interest rate, credit and currency plays, for investors able to identify the most appealing prospects and who have the ability to take long and short positions within their strategy.
e-fundresearch.com: Thank You!