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Fund Flash: JPM adds PM vet to $40bn bond strategy

Fund Flash: JPM adds PM vet to $40bn bond strategy

Citywire Americas rounds-up the biggest news in the funds and Ucits investment universe as reported by Citywire’s global publications.

JPM’s US fixed income chief to manage $40bn core bond strategy

Steven Lear, JP Morgan Asset Management’s US chief investment officer for fixed income, has been added as a portfolio manager on all the pooled funds within the JPM Core Bond strategy, Citywire Selector reports.

The change reflects Lear’s ongoing contribution to the strategies and includes the JPMorgan Funds – US Aggregate Bond Fund

The US-domiciled JPM Core Bond fund currently has $35.1bn in assets under management, while the Ucits-compliant JPMorgan Funds – US Aggregate Bond fund has $4.8bn.

Lear was appointed to his current role in September 2019, having previously been CIO for macro-driven strategies.

A spokesperson for the asset manager confirmed that Justin Rucker and Citywire + rated Richard Figuly remain named managers on the JPM Core Bond strategy and that there won’t be any changes to the investment process.

When Lear assumed his role as the US CIO for fixed income, Figuly was appointed head of the firm’s core bond team, taking over from Barbara Miller. 

The JPM Core Bond fund returned 17.6% in US dollar terms over the three years to the end of November 2020. The average fund in the Bonds - US Dollar Medium Term sector returned 15.6% over the same timeframe. 

Invesco expands ESG ETFs with Japan and Pacific funds

Invesco has expanded its ESG-focused ETFs with the launch of two new funds, which will cover listed companies in Japan and the Pacific ex-Japan region, Citywire Selector reports.

The Invesco MSCI Japan Universal Screened Ucits ETF and Invesco MSCI Pacific ex-Japan ESG Universal Screened Ucits ETF will carry an ongoing fund charge of 0.19%. Both funds are listed on the London Stock Exchange.

The funds will be passive physically invested ETFs, which will follow the performance of customized versions of MSCI ESG Universal indices, and will operate in the same way as similar funds focused on the European, US and world equity products.

All of them are driven by ‘ESG momentum’ thinking, which is designed to increase exposure to companies that are actively improving their ESG credentials, as well as excluding controversial business practices.

The indices are constructed from their parent MSCI index by first excluding any stock that is involved in controversial, conventional or nuclear weapons, civilian firearms, oil sands, thermal coal, tobacco or recreational cannabis.

Any company that has faced severe controversies over ESG issues in the past three years or has a very low MSCI ESG score is also removed from the index. The remaining stocks are reweighted by the product of their ESG scores, ESG trend scores and market capitalization. 

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