From mainstream investments to specialist products, Threadneedle offers a range of funds for investors.
Eighteen years of excellence
Founded in 1994 and named after the iconic City of London street where the Bank of England resides, Threadneedle Investments has performed strongly across several product areas. The company’s track record has attracted attention from a diverse set of investors, helping it develop into the UK’s third largest manager of retail assets. As of 31 March 2012, Threadneedle had more than £77 billion worth of assets under management.
In 1994, British American Tobacco Industries merged Eagle Star and Allied Dunbar’s investment arms to create Threadneedle. The merged entity was sold 11 years later to Ameriprise, one of the US’s largest financial services companies with $675 billion worth of assets under management (as of 31 March 2012). Having stable ownership and the support of its parent company has allowed Threadneedle to expand its products and services and international footprint in recent years.
Strength in depth
Threadneedle offers funds covering both mainstream and specialist investment markets. Some of the funds in its diverse product range feature in The Share Centre’s Platinum 120 (a preferred list of recommended funds). The company has developed a good reputation in several areas, notably the UK Equity Income and North American equity sectors. Threadneedle also has various highly regarded portfolios, investing in high-yield bonds, global equities and property, among others.
Elsewhere, the firm has taken advantage of recent regulatory developments to launch a range of UCITS funds. The UCITS regulations allow fund managers to use derivative strategies to deliver additional flexibility to portfolios, enabling the advent of ’extended alpha’ and ’absolute return’ funds across Threadneedle’s OEIC and SICAV platforms.
Regulatory change has also allowed Threadneedle to launch funds that invest in non-traditional asset classes, such as commodities.
It’s good to talk
While varied by asset class and investment vehicle, the company’s product range is unified by one important factor: its team-based investment approach. Regular meetings are held to adhere to the company’s open communication policy, giving the company’s specialist teams a platform to share their investment insights and market disciplines. They also give fund managers the opportunity to discuss business matters and global markets. This interaction has not only enabled the firm to deliver strong performance, it also helped Threadneedle’s managers to quickly identify market developments.
The company is led by Chief Investment Officer Mark Burgess, Head of Equities Leigh Harrison and Head of Fixed Income Jim Cielinski. Burgess and Cielinski both joined the company in 2010 and have built on solid foundations to instil even greater clarity and communication throughout the decision-making process.
Harrison joined Threadneedle as a UK income manager in 2006 and has since developed the company’s UK Equity Income Fund into a highly successful franchise. He has also assumed wider responsibility for equities in general during his time with the firm.
Fund managers enjoy the communicative culture at Threadneedle and, as a result, the company boasts a number of longstanding senior professionals: desk heads Cormac Weldon (US equities), William Davies (global equities), Vanessa Donegan (Asian equities), David Oliphant (investment grade corporate bonds) and Barrie Whitman (high-yield bonds). All have more than 10 years’ experience with the company. Such experience and the company’s investment philosophy has helped to cement the firm’s standing among investment professionals in the UK and beyond.
Traditionally, Threadneedle only selected funds from its own range, but the company has since established a multi-manager operation that covers other funds. The multi-manager business was formed after Threadneedle secured a large mandate from LV, the UK’s largest friendly society (an organisation that aims to help provide financial security by offering insurance, investments and savings products), in 2011. As part of the deal, Threadneedle has taken over LV’s entire fund-management activities, including its risk-rated multi-manager funds, which use a well-established framework to select holdings from across the industry.
Ready for the future
By embracing regulatory change, launching new products to meet investor needs and methodically growing into new areas as opportunities present themselves, Threadneedle has shown itself to be a confident, forward-looking company. Investors looking for a business to marshal their investments in uncertain, but potentially rewarding, times can be confident that Threadneedle is the right fit for them.