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AXA GI swaps Brook for global infrastructure fund

AXA Global Investors (AXA GI), the multi-manager formerly known as Arcus, has dropped the Brook Asset Management Infrastructure Fund from its list, awarding the $28 million mandate to US firm Cohen & Steers.

Wednesday, August 19th 2009, 5:23AM

by David Chaplin

According to Peter Verhaart, AXA GI head, the Cohen & Steers fund offered access to a broader infrastructure market than the Brook product, which focused on the Australasian region.

"[The Australasian market] is very thin," Verhaart said.

Brook has retained an Australasian share mandate with AXA GI.

Verhaart said AXA GI was also reviewing its line-up of global equity managers with some changes expected to be announced shortly. Currently, the group has awarded mandates to five international share managers: RCM (growth); Bernstein (global value); Capital International (core); LSV Asset Management (value), and; GMO (growth).

According to actuarial firm Melville Jessup Weaver (MJW), the AXA GI global equities multi-manager fund was the top-performer in the June quarter, returning 9.8%. Over the one and five-year periods the AXA GI global shares fund was ranked fifth (out of 12) on the MJW list, with returns of -17.7% and -8.3% respectively.

The MJW June 2009 multi-manager report also revealed AXA GI recently sacked ING from its New Zealand bond fund, the only such fund-of-funds in the survey.

"AXA GI has a much higher volatility than the single manager funds. The results reflect ING, one of the two fund managers, whose returns have recently been quite volatile," the MJW report says.

ING was replaced by AllianceBernstein, which now looks after 40% of the AXA GI New Zealand bond fund with the remainder managed by AMP Capital Investors.

Russell Investments had also fired US firm Drake from its global bond multi-manager fund, the MJW survey says.

AXA GI manages over $5 billion of mostly retail money for a number of financial advisory firms including $1.25 billion for the AXA-owned Spicers network, as well as an undisclosed amount for New Zealand Financial Planning.

Verhaart said AXA GI was making inroads into the institutional market with the launch last month of its range of wholesale PIE funds, which the retail money now also feeds into.

« Fee-based firm looks to growSovereign takes regulation bull by the horns »

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