Legg Mason’s global bond fund grows  


Andy Sowerby

Launched less than a year ago, Legg Mason Western Asset Global Bond Fund crosses $100million in funds under management, awarded ‘Recommended’ rating from Lonsec.

Legg Mason, one of the world’s largest funds management groups with A$962 billion in funds under management, yesterday announced that its recently launched global bond fund for Australian investors, the Legg Mason Western Asset Global Bond Fund has surpassed A$100 million since the launch.

Managed by Western Asset Australia, the fund, launched less than a year ago, offers investors exposure to an actively managed global bond fund, benchmarked to the Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate Index.

The US dollar version of the fund has been running since 2010 and has returned 1.5% p.a. above its benchmark over the past five years (net of fees).  The Australian fund has produced a net return of 5.34 per cent over the six months to the end of August, compared with a 2.54 per cent index return over the same period

In addition to the strong inflows, the Legg Mason Western Asset Global Bond Fund has also received a ‘Recommended’ rating from investment research house, Lonsec Research Pty Ltd (Lonsec).  Lonsec cited the fund’s “stable and experienced investment team, with long tenure and low turnover, as well as access to the wider Western Asset expertise and infrastructure.”

Legg Mason Australia Managing Director Andy Sowerby notes “We believe that there are very few high calibre global bond funds available and it is for this reason that we brought this proven capability to the market. The strategy has a long history of attractive risk adjusted returns and as more investors understand the proposition we would expect continued strong growth.”

Anthony Kirkham, Head of Investments at Western Asset Australia, says “We believe global bonds offer a compelling investment opportunity especially as investors seek to further diversify and manage overall risk. Global fixed income is the largest and most diverse of asset classes and offers rich opportunities for our global teams to capitalise on.”

Currently, 94.8 per cent of the securities in the portfolio are investment grade. Government bonds make up 58.5 per cent of sector allocation, investment grade corporate debt 17.7 per cent, emerging markets 11.9 per cent, mortgage backed securities 7.7 per cent, high yield 1.4 per cent and cash 2.8 per cent.

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