IRELAND/UK- Barclays Global Investors (BGI) has launched two actively managed corporate bond funds: the Ascent UK All Stocks Corporate Bond Fund and Ascent UK Long Corporate Bond Fund. Institutional investors have already committed £177m (e277m)- £38m to the former and £139m to the latter.

The funds take active risk through a mixture of stock selection and industry and credit sector selection strategies. As part of the investment strategy, BGI is blending equity and bond research.

Says head of fixed income strategy Partha Dasgupta: “we capture the insight of our equity as well as our bond specialists, and our model applies this insight in a disciplined, process-driven way. The model is overseen by credit experts, who overlay outputs with rigorous security specific analysis.

“We have integrated expertise derived from our active equity models with our proven expertise in fixed income to help drive the selection process in these new funds.”

The funds already invest in Sterling investment grade bonds and will eventually diversify into derivatives, a move designed to take advantage of arbitrage opportunities and for protection.

BGI is benchmarking the Dublin-domiciled funds to Merrill Lynch’s Sterling non gilts and Sterling non gilts over 15 years indices. Both funds, which are aimed at institutional investors, seek to outperform their respective indices by 0.75% per annum, net of fees over a rolling three-year period.

BGI manages over £90bn in fixed income worldwide, of which more than a third is managed in London.