Bond fund veterans David Roberts and Alex Ralph (pictured) have resurfaced at global asset manager Nedgroup Investments, joining as part of the firm’s launch of an “in-house, multi-boutique platform”.
Roberts, who retired as head of global bonds at Liontrust Asset Management in August 2022, has nearly 35 years of experience in the industry. He joined Liontrust in 2018 having spent 14 years at Aegon Asset Management (formerly Kames Capital) where he was head of fixed income.
Ralph left her role as senior fund manager at Artemis in September 2021, having joined in April 2005. During her time there, Ralph set up and managed the £1.8bn Artemis Strategic Bond fund, and led management responsibilities on the Artemis High Income fund.
The pair will run an active global bond fund at Nedgroup, the first of a number of boutique, in-house strategies that the firm is planning to launch.
Tom Caddick, managing director of Nedgroup (international), said: “It’s harder for boutiques to set up now because of the onerous regulatory requirements and the difficulty of raising sufficient capital.
“We want to facilitate start-up boutiques to better serve the needs of our clients and provide a wider range of investment opportunity. We can create a more diverse fund management sector for the benefit of the end investor.
“I’m thrilled to launch our innovative structure with two conviction managers I have known and respected for over 20 years.”
Roberts said he was returning to active investing because the market conditions were too compelling to ignore: “I have always had conviction to invest when risk and reward are in the client’s favour. After a couple of years when return expectations were negative, we are back in an environment where fixed income is once again a diversifier, a very attractive alternative to equities. The old normal.”
Ralph added: “Many have been waiting a decade for this type of entry point and the possibility of earning significant, long-term positive returns without the need to venture into the dark, equity-like corners of the bond market.”