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Fairtree Flexible Income Plus Prescient Fund turns four and embraces engineering approach

17 July 2017Paul Crawford, Fairtree Capital
Paul Crawford, Fund Manager at Fairtree Capital.

Paul Crawford, Fund Manager at Fairtree Capital.

The Fairtree Flexible Income Plus Fund (previously known as the MET Income Plus Fund) managed by Paul Crawford has reached the four-year mark and boasts a track record and net annualised gain of 9.6% since inception in 2013. This translates into a 10.16 % over the same period of time – ensuring an inflation-beating return from a low-risk investment.

The Fund is also ranked 1st in the category (SA Multi-Asset Income) over two, three and four years to 3 June 2017.

According to Fund Manager, Paul Crawford investing is neither an art nor a science and should rather be approached as an engineering problem, requiring a specific solution to achieve an investment outcome. “This is one of the fundamental reasons behind the intellectual depth of our Newlands-based, Fairtree Fixed Income Team that incorporates specialised quantitative and mathematical skills that complement an engineering, solution-based focus,” said Crawford.

The Team aims to consistently deliver the STEFI +3% (after fees) target return of the Fund by way of careful risk management and broad diversification. Obtaining desired return outcomes and ‘runs on the board’ are core to the philosophy and process implemented in managing the Fund and the broad range of instruments from the investable universe ensures a superior risk-adjusted return from the Fund over time.

Crawford adds: “The Fund has also produced superior risk-adjusted returns when compared with the All Bond Index, and that including the Fund with ALSI 40 exposure instead of traditional ALBI exposure has the benefit of moving the efficient frontier curve upward and to the left – which means a higher return profile for a lower level of risk.”

Source: Morningstar 

Before joining Fairtree, Crawford spent five years at Eskom in the engineering field, he then moved to the financial services industry, firstly working for Standard Corporate and Merchant Bank’s interest rate products unit, then joining the asset management industry in 1999. After five years at RMB Asset Management, Paul moved to the newly formed Momentum Alternative Investments where he managed numerous hedge funds and specialized in segregated mandates. Paul joined Fairtree in 2013 as a Fixed Income Portfolio Manager.

The Fund is a largely domestic, high yield, fixed income portfolio which aims to return STeFI +3% after fees through the interest rate cycle. The portfolio is suited to investors seeking the highest possible income yield with the tolerance for some capital volatility in the case of credit defaults. The portfolio is positioned as a multi-asset income portfolio to reflect the portfolio's flexible mandate in terms of accessing a broad spectrum of underlying high yielding assets including property and securities linked to equities with due consideration being given to the lower risk mandate for the portfolio, using appropriate strategies to minimize risk where necessary.

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