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BlackRock launches six equity funds in AI and big data push

BlackRock launches six equity funds in AI and big data push

BlackRock has launched six new funds which combine technology, big data and AI to expand its active equity platform, Citywire Switzerland can reveal.

The strategies, which are grouped under the Advantage Series brand, aim to deliver long-term capital growth to investors and are part of BlackRock’s active equities platform. The series includes World, Pan Europe, Europe ex-UK, US, emerging markets, and Asia ex-Japan funds.

The funds, five regional and one global, are managed by the Systematic Active Equity (SAE) team, led by Raffaele Savi and Jeff Shen.

André Bantli, head of sales and distribution for continental Europe EMEA retail, said: ‘Generating active investment returns in today’s environment requires innovating sources of investment insights. Success requires managers who have the necessary skills and infrastructure to analyse huge data sets, leveraging new tools and research methodologies in a timely manner.

'At BlackRock we have boosted our active equity capabilities by using the power of "human and machine" to efficiently deliver investment performance to our clients.’

Bantli, who was previously working as head of global portfolio and investment management for Asia Pacific and as country head of asset management in Singapore for Credit Suisse believes Asia, has a much more developed equity culture.

He said: ‘It is in the DNA of the region. It is a faster-paced environment where investors trade funds much more quickly than here, they might buy them and sell them three days later.

‘I think we need to better educate investors on how to integrate equity strategies in their portfolio across quantitative, factors, fundamentals and alternatives to generate alpha. In Switzerland people are underinvested in equities but to achieve long-term goals, equities have to be part of the asset allocation.’

Switzerland, Germany, Italy and France are BlackRock’s core markets in Europe, and one of Bantli’s main concerns are the regulations.

He said: ‘The rest of the EU has MiFID II but for Switzerland it is different so a one-size-fits-all approach is not possible.’

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