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MFS Launches global multi-asset and absolute return mutual funds

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MFS Investment Management (MFS) has launched MFS Global Multi-Asset Fund (GLMAX) and MFS Absolute Return Fund (MRNAX). The funds represent the latest additions to MFS’ broad line of asset allocation funds and meet the growing demand from advisors and investors for diversified, outcome-oriented, single-fund investment solutions.

"A growing trend for more than a decade, advisors and investors have sought new solutions for a greater level of diversification and risk management within a single fund," said James A Jessee, president of MFS Fund Distributors, Inc, the US mutual fund sales division of MFS. "More and more, investors are looking for investment solutions that have the potential to provide attractive risk-adjusted returns in all environments with less volatility than the market."

MFS Global Multi-Asset Fund’s investment objective is to seek total return. MFS seeks to achieve the fund’s objective by 1) strategically allocating the fund’s assets to a mix of asset classes (eg, global equities, real estate-related investments, commodity-related investments, and global corporate and government bonds, including inflation-adjusted debt instruments), 2) tactically managing the fund’s exposure to asset classes, markets, and currencies and 3) selecting individual securities within each asset class.

MFS Absolute Return Fund’s investment objective is to seek total return. MFS employs an absolute return investment approach, seeking to earn a positive return regardless of market conditions. MFS seeks to achieve the fund’s objective by generating returns from a combination of individual security selection of primarily debt instruments and a tactical asset allocation overlay to manage the fund’s exposure to asset classes, markets, and currencies.

"We believe these new funds meet evolving long-term investor needs for more consistent returns by combining diversification, flexibility, and active security selection," Jessee says.

MFS Global Multi-Asset Fund is team managed by members of MFS’ Quantitative Solutions team: Natalie Shapiro, PhD, Benjamin Nastou, CFA, and Linda Zhang, PhD They have responsibility for the fund’s asset allocation decisions and also provide general oversight to a team of investment professionals responsible for individual security selection. Shapiro, a quantitative research analyst, joined MFS in 1997, is co-manager of quantitative strategies at MFS and has more than 14 years of experience. Nastou joined MFS in 2000 and is a portfolio manager and quantitative analyst. Linda Zhang joined MFS in 2010 as a portfolio manager and quantitative research analyst. She has more than 13 years of investment industry experience, most recently serving as a portfolio manager at BlackRock.

James Calmas manages MFS Absolute Return Fund, supported by a team of analysts from MFS’ Quantitative Solutions team. Calmas is a fixed-income portfolio manager, has been with MFS since 1988, and has more than 24 years of experience. Shapiro, Nastou, and Zhang manage the tactical overlay for the fund as well.

The funds are available for purchase through financial advisors and other intermediaries and are available in multiple share classes.

MFS now offers 16 multi-asset class mutual funds, including the MFS Lifetime series of target date funds and the MFS Allocation series of target risk funds. In addition, other multi-asset products MFS offers include MFS Diversified Target Return Fund, MFS Diversified Income Fund, MFS Total Return Fund, and MFS Global Total Return Fund. The firm launched its first multi-asset fund, MFS Total Return Fund, in October 1970, among the first of its kind in the US mutual fund industry.

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