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Fund digest: all the need-to-know launches and closures

A weekly round-up of all the latest fund launches, closures and changes that hit markets between 13 March and 17 March.

Spring is in full swing and so is the fund industry, with investment firms are looking to be ahead of the curve and use artificial intelligence and robotics to their advantage.

In this gallery Citywire Switzerland brings you all the launches and closures made over the week from 13 March to 17 March.

The fund providers launching new products include ACATIS, Capital Group, BlackRock, while Franklin Templeton, Pictet and Mirabaud have all made closures.

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Stars and stripes

Giant asset management firm Capital Group has accelerated its move into the European funds market with the launch of a US-focused corporate bond fund.

The Luxembourg-domiciled fund, which is set to be formally launched on March 21, mirrors an existing US-only fund and marks the fourth fund Capital Group has made available to European investors.

The American Funds Corporate Bond fund, which is the US version of the fund, has $160 million in assets and was launched in December 2012. It is managed by David S. Lee.

The strategy aims to deliver attractive risk-adjusted returns from a portfolio of principally investment-grade US corporate bonds. It seeks to provide, over the long term, a high level of total return consistent with capital preservation and prudent risk management.

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Global ambitions

Franklin Templeton is to close its global growth and value fund and roll it into a larger strategy after its assets dropped below the firm’s $50 million threshold.

The move will see the Franklin Global Growth and Value fund formally closed on June 8. It currently has $44 million in assets under management, which leaves it short of new limits introduced by the asset manager last year.

Franklin Templeton wrote to shareholders on March 15 to explain the rationale for the liquidation, which will see the existing assets rolled into the Templeton Global fund, which had $1.16 billion in assets at the end of 2016.

The fund set to be closed is overseen by Dylan Ball, Heather Arnold, Donald Huber and Tony Coffey.

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The rise of the robots

Pictet Asset Management has soft-closed its dedicated robotics fund after the specialist equity strategy swelled to nearly €3 billion in assets in less than two years since launch on 15 March, 2017.

The Swiss asset manager chose to close the Pictet-Robotics fund, which was launched in July 2015, after seeing strong inflows into the fund, which had €2.9 billion in assets as of March 13.

It was launched in the summer of 2015 as a means of Pictet tapping the so-called ‘robotics revolution’, which includes advances in IT, cloud computing, new microprocessors and artificial intelligence.

Management of the fund is overseen by Karen Kharmandarian, who is a senior investment manager of thematic equites, and Peter Lingen, who joined from Swedbank, where he had overseen the Swedish firm’s technology fund.

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Swiss small-cap appeal

Mirabaud Asset Management has soft-closed its Equities Swiss Small & Mid fund on 14 March, 2017 as it has approached its CHF1 billion (£774 million) maximum capacity.

The fund, managed by Citywire A-rated Paul Schibli and Patrick Huber, reached CHF950 million on 14 March, prompting the move to protect existing investors, who will still be able to make additional investments.

Speaking to Citywire Switzerland in September 2016 Paul Schibli, who is also head of Swiss equities at the firm, said it was the right time to switch to value stocks.

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Index wave

BlackRock has expanded its Swiss indices offering by launching three new Swiss-domiciled indices to private clients.

The newly launched indices include the BIFS SPI® Equity Index fund, the BIFS SBI® Fixed Income Index fund and the BIFS Emerging Market Bond Index fund.

The new SPI equity index fund replicates the Swiss Performance Index, holding virtually all stocks with offices registered in Switzerland or Liechtenstein and listed on SIX Swiss Exchange, for which the free float exceeds 20%.

In the bonds space, the SBI fixed income fund reflects the Swiss Bond, SBI Total AAA-BBB, as it includes bonds issued in Swiss francs with a minimum rating of BBB that are listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange.

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Coming together

Vontobel has rolled five index Swiss equity-focused funds into a multi-factor fund.

The firm has finalised the merger, in which Vescore Equity Switzerland Multi Factor fund has received six strategies: 1741 Switzerland Cap Weighted Index Fonds, 1741 Switzerland Risk Parity Index Fonds, 1741 Switzerland Value Index Fonds, 1741 Switzerland Momentum Index Fonds and 1741 Switzerland Quality Index Fonds.

The fund manager responsible for the Vescore Equity Switzerland Multi Factor fund is Nicolas Burckhardt, who joined Vescore in 2013 and has been working for Vontobel since September 2016.

He also manages 1741 Minimum Volatility Index Fonds, a client mandate, the 1741 Equity Dynamic Indexing World fund and the 1741 (Lux) Equity Dynamic Indexing World fund.

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Related Fund Managers

Paul Schibli
Paul Schibli
50/61 in Equity - Switzerland (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 15.37%
Paul Schibli
Paul Schibli
50/61 in Equity - Switzerland (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 15.37%
Hendrik Leber
Hendrik Leber
309/342 in Equity - Global (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 6.82%
Dylan Ball
Dylan Ball
268/342 in Equity - Global (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 11.66%
Heather Arnold
Heather Arnold
274/342 in Equity - Global (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 10.85%
Tony Coffey
Tony Coffey
239/342 in Equity - Global (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 15.11%
Karen Kharmandarian
Karen Kharmandarian
4/43 in Equity - Global Themes (Performance over 1 year) Average Total Return: 30.02%
Peter Lingen
Peter Lingen
3/43 in Equity - Global Themes (Performance over 1 year) Average Total Return: 30.02%
Patrick Huber
Patrick Huber
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