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GAM Star Global Rates

Reasons to Invest

Attractive opportunities

The prospects for traditional asset classes remain uncertain, as central banks look to tighten liquidity, and opportunities can be sought in uncorrelated strategies that seek to extract alpha from markets.

Effective diversifier

The fund typically invests in interest rate and foreign exchange derivative instruments, thereby potentially achieving returns with attractive diversification characteristics to traditional fixed income and equity portfolios.

Equity-like returns, fixed income levels of risk

By focusing on key themes, the team seeks to run a fund concentrated enough to deliver equity-like returns, while providing enough diversification to achieve this with fixed income levels of risk, in terms of volatility and drawdown.

Our Edge

Highly experienced manager

More than 30 years’ experience as an economist and investment manager enables Adrian Owens to successfully evaluate an array of factors, while employing an eclectic and pragmatic approach driven by economic fundamentals.

Flexible

The use of long and short positions, longer-term strategic themes and shorter-term tactical trades and a wide range of fundamental and technical investment styles, potentially enable alpha generation in all market conditions, as well as protecting on the downside.

Liquid, transparent

The team focuses on liquid opportunities, while giving investors full transparency on portfolio holdings, return and risk.

Active risk management

Each decision – at position level, market level and theme level – seeks to achieve a strong reward-to-risk outcome.

Philosophy and Process

Investment Philosophy

The team believes that fixed income and currency markets are ultimately driven by economic fundamentals. However, prolonged periods of mispricing occur when other drivers, such as market sentiment, dominate. Therefore, managers who can identify the real market drivers and capture their shifts can successfully add alpha.

Investment Process

The team’s top-down, thematic process has risk management embedded throughout. Having identified the market backdrop, the team uses original economic research – focused mainly on developed and liquid emerging markets – to identify strong ‘economic stories’. They seek to capture these opportunities by determining market valuations and building metrics for currency and rates ideas. The outcome is a set of fair valuations and stop loss limits for each market or currency. Trades are based on conviction, while technical analysis is used to size and time trades. Typically, the team’s 8-12 themes account for 60-80% of the portfolio’s risk capital. The remaining 20-40% is allocated to short-term, tactical trades. Risk is managed through monitoring correlation, diversification and liquidity, while hard stop loss limits are set for each trade at inception.

1. Define market backdrop

  • Determine current market environment
  • Evaluate growth drivers, risk appetite, correlation

2. Identify strong economic stories

  • Global mandate, with a focus on developed and liquid EM
  • Original economic research

3. Determine market valuations

  • Evaluate bond markets and build valuation metrics
  • Risk management – focus on value, establish stops

4. Portfolio construction and risk management

  • Weighting of themes based on conviction, with a focus on correlation and instrument liquidity
  • Independent risk monitoring of daily risk profile vs. risk limits

Our Thinking

Investment Opinions 4 min watch

Outlook 2020: are we in a late cycle environment?

5 December 2019

We asked a number of our fund managers whether they believe we are now in a late cycle environment and what the implications are for their respective asset class.

4 min watch
Investment Opinions 3 min watch

GAM Talks Q4 2019: What themes are you currently playing?

7 November 2019

We asked a group of our portfolio managers a series of questions about their respective asset classes. This third video, in a series of three, looks at the themes the managers are currently exploring.

3 min watch
Investment Opinions 3 min watch

GAM Talks Q4 2019: What are the most significant market events at present?

31 October 2019

We asked a group of our portfolio managers a series of questions about their respective asset classes. This second video, in a series of three, looks at the overall market environment.

3 min watch

Investment Team

The Global Rates team is led by Adrian Owens, Investment Director, who has been involved in discretionary macro investing since 2004. Adrian’s 30-plus years as an economist and investment manager are at the heart of his ability to understand how macro factors drive market behaviour and are central to his aim to generate attractive, risk-adjusted returns across all market conditions.

Adrian is supported by Rahul Mathur, who provides investment management and analysis with a particular focus on selective emerging markets, and Alistair Wallace, who provides investment management and analysis. Scott Watson is the dedicated dealer for the strategy and provides support and execution for bonds and currencies.

The team operates independently and has autonomy over their investment process, while being supported by GAM Investments’ risk team, which provides independent risk oversight, as well as investment administration and operations teams.

Our eclectic approach to investment, though driven by economic fundamentals, does at times place more weight on an array of other factors. We believe successful evaluation of the importance of such factors comes only from experience
Adrian Owens, Investment Director.

Fund Information

Key Risks

Counterparty Risk / Derivatives

If a counterparty to a financial derivative contract were to default, the value of the contract, the cost to replace it and any cash or securities held by the counterparty to facilitate it, may be lost.

Leverage Risk

Derivatives may multiply the exposure to underlying assets and expose the Fund to the risk of substantial losses.

Interest Rate Risk

A rise or fall in interest rates causes fluctuations in the value of fixed income securities, which may result in a decline or an increase in the value of such investments.

Currency Risk

The value of investments in assets that are denominated in currencies other than the base currency will be affected by changes in the relevant exchange rates which may cause a decline.

Market Risk / Emerging Markets

Emerging markets will generally be subject to greater political, market, counterparty and operational risks.

Capital at risk

All financial investments involve an element of risk. Therefore, the value of the investment and the income from it will vary and the initial investment amount cannot be guaranteed.

Resources

Fund Profile - GAM Star Global Rates

Risk management at GAM

Contacts

Gam Star Global Rates is a sub-fund of GAM Star Fund p.l.c., registered office at George’s Court, 54-62 Townsend Street, Dublin 2, Ireland, an umbrella investment company.