Wealth DFM 8 | Finding value in fixed income | October 2023

by | Sep 25, 2023

As the sultry days of summer fade from our memory, the arrival of the chill autumn see wealth managers focused on the usual challenges. At the root of these is trying to make the best asset allocation and stock selection calls in the face of today’s highly uncertain global markets and economy. 

One sector finding real favour with many of the investment managers we’ve spoken to recently, is fixed income. It’s quite a reversal of fortunes from where we were this time last year as we suffered the fall out from the disastrous Truss/Kwarteng mini-budget. It just reinforces the fact that all markets are cyclical and that timing is still important.  

That’s why I was particularly pleased to catch up recently with PIMCO’s Ryan Blute and Terry Oh (this month’s cover stars!) to hear their thoughts on current bond market conditions. As a global leader in active fixed income, the PIMCO team’s opinions are always worth listening to. As you’ll see from page 5 onwards, I found both Ryan and Terry to be in positive mood about the opportunities they’re seeing in the sector. Let’s hope they’re right!

To ESG or not to ESG?  

That is indeed the question, but with so much focus on what actually constitutes ESG I was really interested to get the views of Mike Mount on the subject this month. As you’ll read on page 10, he’s keen to encourage wealth managers to reassess their thinking about ESG and explains why in no uncertain terms. Well worth a read! 

Sharing a similar thought pattern to Mike, Aubrey Capital Management’s Sharon Bentley-Hamlyn tells us her concerns on page 18 as she asks whether ESG has gone off the rails? That’s not to say that ESG isn’t important – far from it. It’s just that when you lift the lid and see some of the details about what’s actually going on when it comes to the world of ESG investment, it’s leaving her with a slightly queasy feeling. Find out why on page 18.

What about AI?

The views of Rathbone Greenbank’s David Harrison are also interesting as he shares his thoughts with us that although AI can be scary to some, it can still be a force for good as he explains in some detail on page 10.  

What might the future for wealth management look like? 

On page 16, we bring you some interesting research done by Simplify Consulting which provides some evidence to support the view that the future of wealth management is about relationships and not transactions. Whilst that’s unlikely to come as a surprise to astute Wealth DFM readers, it’s reassuring to focus on some of the things we might see in successful wealth management businesses. 

And finally, as the nights draw in and the mornings get darker, we wonder how on earth we’ve got to Q4 2023 quite so soon. I don’t know about you, but I for one can’t quite believe how quickly this year is ticking by. As they say, time flies when you’re having fun. Let’s hope that concerns about the rising oil price and other macro variables don’t slow things down.

Sue Whitbread 
Editor | Wealth DFM

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