Janus International is expanding its international offering with a series of product launches from its Dublin base, starting with a US real estate fund, followed next year by a pan-European equity fund, a corporate bond fund, and an Asian fund for Janus's substantial Far East market.
The first new fund to be available will be a fund of real estate investment trusts (Reits), available from the end of September. It is a mirror of a US fund sub-advised by Janus in the US. The San Francisco-based manager, Bill Schaff, invests across a whole range of commercial sectors in a bid to cherry pick top performance.
'Bond markets have fallen out of bed and people are looking for some sort of return in an asset class that is not correlated with the bond market,' said Richard Garland, chief executive officer of Janus International. 'It has also got a low correlation with equities. That, and the yield, are the two key selling points.'
The minimum initial investment is E/$5,000, with subsequent minimums of E/$2,500. The euro share class is fully hedged. There is an annual management charge of 1.25% and commission is negotiable but up to a maximum of 6.5%.
Janus will also consider launching a global Reit fund further down the road.
Garland is committed to adding a pan-European fund to the range in short order but not a UK fund.
'The UK market is competitive ' it would not make much sense for us to take an existing UK product and market it in the UK. But outside the UK, there is appetite for a pan-European product and clearly that is a product we have to have in our line-up.'
To that end, Janus is in talks with an (undisclosed) European equity fund manager. If those talks are successful, the new fund will be launched early in 2004.
Two further products for next year will be a US corporate bond fund and an Asia ex-Japan fund for the sake of Janus's significant number of Far East investors.
The company regards itself as a US specialist ' if there are any gaps in the international market that cannot be filled by mirrors of its US products, the expertise will be outsourced or bought in a joint venture.
The increase in minimum AE contributions has had little impact on opt-out rates - with cessations after April increasing by less than two percentage points, data from The Pensions Regulator (TPR) shows.
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