Schroders Australia will bolster its multi-asset team with Angus Sippe set to join as portfolio manager in the September quarter.
As reported here, Schroders deputy head of multi-asset, Simon Stevenson, announced his retirement last week after 13 years with the global investment firm. Stevenson will officially retire at the end of 2020, Schroders multi-asset head, Simon Doyle, confirmed this week.
“We would like to thank Simon for his outstanding contribution and wish him all the best for his retirement,” Doyle said.
He said Schroders has had a succession plan in place for some time.
“Planning for succession in investment management is important as the process needs to be more durable than any one individual,” Doyle said.
Sippe moves to Schroders Australia following a seven-year stint at the manager’s New York office. An Australian national, he began his Schroders career in London in 2009, holding roles in the firm’s multi-asset and strategic solutions arms.
As well, Sippe is a voting member of the Schroders global asset allocation committee.
AMP Capital invests about half of its multi-asset fund into a Schroders strategy.
Doyle heads the multi-asset team of 12 including former NZ Superannuation investment analysis manager, Roland Winn.
“The diversity and depth within the team will enable us to continue to drive investment outcomes for our clients and support the continued growth our multi-asset business in Australia,” Doyle said.
He said the multi-asset investment style, which is a modern take on the balanced fund concept, performed more-or-less as expected during the recent volatility, providing some protection against falling markets.
“But it’s a very heterogeneous space,” Doyle said. “There are many different approaches.”
Schroders has an “objectives-based” model built around the ability to allocate across many asset classes without reference to any benchmarks.
“Our objectives are to hit a target rate of return and also to mitigate drawdown risk,” Doyle said. “But how you implement is important.”
The Schroders Australian multi-asset team bears full responsibility for the local product asset allocation and investment decisions but accesses the global group for advice, some security selection and transactional services.
“We’re accountable for the outcomes,” he said.
With a skew to downside protection, the Schroders multi-asset strategy lagged during the late bull run in 2019 but Doyle said it did hold up “pretty well” in the March coronavirus market dive.
Ironically, its relative performance success and abundant liquidity saw the Schroders multi-asset vehicle tapped for redemptions by Australian super funds looking to pay out early withdrawals.
The COVID early withdrawal option has seen more than A$13 billion exit the Australian super system since the window opened in May.
Many industry super funds hold a large exposure to alternative, hard-to-sell assets, forcing them to offload more liquid assets to meet withdrawals.
“We helped solved those liquidity issues,” Doyle said. “But it’s swings and roundabouts. I’d rather be the solution than the problem.”
Globally, Schroders manages over A$950 billion, of which about A$33.2 billion comes via the Australian business. The Sydney-based multi-asset team looks after about A$7 billion sourced from institutional, wholesale and wealth managers – the latter group representing A$2.5 billion of the total. Doyle estimated NZ investors, including those in the AMP Capital fund, have tipped in about A$200 million.
“The NZ market is of interest to us,” he said, “We see some important strategic opportunities to grow there.”
Schroders is also considering launching a portfolio investment entity (PIE) product for NZ, although the debate is in the early stages, Doyle said.