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“Bus and Moraal apply a solid and proven investment process driven by in-depth bottom-up research combined with a good sense of risk awareness. And they have demonstrated their ability to add value through superior credit selection and favorable credit beta management in both upward and downward markets”, says Morningstar analyst Niels Faassen, in his assessment as to why Bus and Moraal received this award.
“With Bus as lead manager, the fund has significantly outperformed in the Morningstar Global High Yield category and beaten its own benchmark over a ten-year period. No mean feat in the high yield bond segment. Risk-adjusted returns are also impressive, placing the fund in or near the top decile for three-, five- and ten-year periods.”
Bus has been involved with the Robeco High Yield Bonds fund since its launch in 1998. Moraal joined as a co-manager in 2003. “Both are supported by a well-resourced credit analyst team and both have personal investments in the fund, which helps align their interests with those of their investors”, says Faassen.
Bus and Moraal feel honored to have received this award. “Thanks to our disciplined investment process and the stability of our portfolio management and analyst teams, we have been able to replicate our success”, says Bus. He stresses that the win is an achievement that should be attributed to Robeco’s credits team as a whole and is an affirmation of a long-standing investment strategy. “Our high yield strategy is recognized by the industry.”
The Robeco High Yield Bonds’ investment strategy is an approach that is widely used in Robeco’s credits team which manages funds like Robeco Global Credits, Robeco European High Yield Bonds and Robeco Financial Institutions Bonds. These strategies all apply the same contrarian investment style under the motto ‘winning by losing less’. They take advantage of the low-risk anomaly: the misperception that higher risk means higher yield. In fact, in the long run, it is the lower risk bonds that actually tend to perform better.
The investment process of Robeco’s credits funds is a combination of top-down market analysis and research-driven bottom-up selection. The emphasis lies on active bond selection where the fund managers have the freedom to also invest outside investment-grade or high yield universe and can take off-benchmark positions.
Robeco High Yield Bonds has significantly outperformed the benchmark
Morningstar’s European Fund Manager of the Year Awards draw upon the qualitative analysis of its fund research team to assess who are the best fund managers. The nominated fund managers are judged on the quality of the investment team, investment process, fund house – including the stewardship of investors’ capital – performance and costs. The awards are presented in three categories: European and Global Equity and Fixed Income.
This is the second consecutive year that Robeco has won an award. Last year Bus and Moraal were also nominated as was Chris Hart who manages Robeco BP Global Premium Equities and who won. Hart was also nominated again this year together with the Robeco Emerging Stars Equities fund manager Jaap van der Hart.
For more on Robeco High Yield Bonds you can also read the interview Sander Bus: ‘I don't take the easy way out’ in Robeco Quarterly. In this article Bus explains his investment philosophy and how he manages to stand out from the crowd.