Legg Mason Western Asset Australian Bond Fund crosses one billion dollars in funds under management

Andy Sowerby

Andy Sowerby

The Legg Mason Western Asset Australian Bond Fund has passed A$1 billion in funds under management, cementing its position as one of the leading Active Australian bond funds in the market.

This actively managed Fund is designed to outperform the Bloomberg AusBond Composite 0+ Year Index and is ranked top quartile in its peer group* over 3, 5, and 10. The Fund is designed to be a core holding in the defensive part of a well-diversified total portfolio and typically invests in Australian dollar-denominated debt securities paying fixed or floating rate coupons issued by governments, supranational bodies and Australian and foreign corporates. The Fund is headed by veteran fixed income investor and Portfolio Manager, Anthony Kirkham and is well supported by Western Asset’s extensive local and global resources.

A listed version of the Fund was launched in November 2018 as an Active ETF – the BetaShares Legg Mason Australian Bond Fund (managed fund) (ASX: BNDS). This is Australia’s first fixed income Active ETF.

Legg Mason Managing Director, Australia and New Zealand, Andy Sowerby, notes: “We have long argued that investors hold too little fixed income in portfolios and felt this had to change driven by two factors – a continued fall in the RBA cash rate allied to increasing concerns around the future returns of risk assets.

“To help investors deal with these forces we have purposefully developed a broad range of Fixed Income solutions and have seen strong interest and growth across the entire set. The Legg Mason Western Asset Bond Fund is one of the flagship offerings with a proven investment team, a compelling track record, and a highly rated and multi-award winning strategy.”

Anthony Kirkham, Head of Investment Management and Australian Operations at Western Asset, adds: “With equity market volatility increasing, as well as broader concerns around global growth and political outcomes, the defensive qualities of a well-constructed bond fund can add much-needed diversification and protection to an overall portfolio.  The Fund favours higher quality assets and currently has an average ‘AA’ credit rating.”

Mr Sowerby concluded: “The strong support for this Fund means it is now accessible across all the major platforms and can also be accessed on the ASX as an Active ETF-ASX ticker BNDS.

“Both the unlisted fund and BNDS are also very competitively priced with management costs of just 0.42% pa.”

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