Robert Lee and Ammalan Annalingam are the co-heads of Multi-Asset Investments at the firm, responsible for assets in excess of GBP1 billion. The biggest change in the last year was an investment team restructure last June that saw the pair assume their new roles. Within the Multi-Asset team there are two equity analysts, two fixed income analysts, a macro specialist, and risk analyst.
The investor base is all private client discretionary individuals and traditionally the company has had a strong following from entrepreneurs.
Annalingam (pictured) says: “We are global multi-asset focused and relatively unconstrained in terms of asset classes, investing across equities, all areas of fixed income, commodities, currencies and hedge funds.
“In addition, where we need to we get exposure to derivatives and we work closely with a number of investment banks to formulate structured products.”
Alongside his role as a co-head, Lee is also Head of Fixed Income and has been running the core income strategy since inception in December 2011.
“We have adopted a diversified global multi-asset approach within the fixed income space,” Lee says. “We look at global sovereign bonds from UK gilts to Australian government bonds, all the way down the risk spectrum from global corporate and convertible bonds to emerging market debt.”
The core income strategy is ultra-low risk with a target volatility of 1-2 per cent and target return of 2-3 per cent, which is often used as a proxy for cash. Lee says: “Clients have been asking us for solutions to find a place to park their cash that is safe. Our strategy has a A+ credit rating – equivalent to the safest high street banks – and low volatility.”
The strategy has returned 22.5 per cent since inception against the benchmark which has achieved 15.0 per cent over the same period. Lee explains that Signia Wealth also has a high income product for clients who wish to have a higher target return. This one is based on the credit portion of the lower risk income fund, targeting credit and emerging market debt and aiming for a return of 5 per cent.
The balanced portfolio, in which the majority of the clients’ capital resides, targets returns of 5-7 per cent, and last year achieved 9.9 per cent.
Annalingam says: “We seek to capture as much of the upside as possible while minimising the downside. We are looking to do something different with the structured products and derivatives area. Our clients tend to be entrepreneurs who give us their ‘safe pot’ of money to manage leaving them to do other things.”
Lee says that Signia clients are also able to invest alongside some of industry’s leading specialists and entrepreneurs in certain asset classes, such as US real estate; cryptocurrency trading, asset management and blockchain research; and are currently working to facilitate access for clients to invest in a tech fund alongside a senior investment specialist at one of the largest global technology companies.
“This resonates well for our clients because we are giving them high quality access to things they otherwise couldn’t invest in,” Lee says.