Portfolio managers and strategists at Neuberger Berman, one of the world’s leading employee-controlled money managers, anticipate continued capital markets volatility through the second half of 2013 and into 2014 as a result of investor interpretation of the Federal Reserve’s easing strategies, concerns about economic growth prospects worldwide, and mixed signals in company fundamentals.
The challenge for individual and institutional investors globally is managing the risk/return balance against a dynamic investment environment.
“As we approach 75 years in the investment management business, we are keenly aware of those challenges and take great pride in our ability to apply relevant lessons learned over multiple market cycles with modern and relevant solutions that meet client needs,” said George Walker, chairman and CEO of Neuberger Berman. “This past year, we’ve provided value to clients with expanded investment strategies as global markets present opportunities. We’ve brought in talented professionals and moved into new regions. We also further increased employee ownership, aligning our firm with clients.”
“The unprecedented involvement in the capital markets by central bankers has created a unique set of challenges to both managing risk and seeking opportunity. Our portfolio managers, we believe, are suited to take advantage of the volatility emanating from this environment,” said Joseph Amato, president and chief investment officer of Neuberger Berman.
To meet evolving investor needs for global exposure, income generation, lower volatility and absolute return, Neuberger Berman continues to develop its actively managed platform of global investment strategies ranging across equities, fixed income, and alternatives, all managed by high conviction and highly experienced investment professionals. Over the past 12 months through June 2013, Neuberger Berman has introduced new strategies and significantly expanded its reach globally to serve individual and institutional investors with enhanced solutions, while continuing to seek superior long-term performance for clients.
Highlights of the past 12 months ended June 30, 2013 include:
- Continued strong active management on behalf of clients, with 88% of equity and fixed income AUM outperforming their passive benchmarks over the 10 years ending June 30.
- Launched Emerging Markets Debt (EMD) platform to provide institutional and individual investors with global and regional emerging markets debt strategies. Twenty-two EMD professionals, led by veteran managers Rob Drijkoningen and Gorky Urquieta, joined the firm in 2013.
- Raised $1.1 billion from investors worldwide for NB Strategic Co-Investment Partners Fund II LP, Neuberger Berman’s second global private equity co-investment fund.
- Dyal Capital Partners, a $1.28 billion private equity fund, completed eight transactions of minority purchases in the management companies of established hedge fund firms.
- Officially opened our office in Taiwan, introducing high yield bond, U.S. REIT and U.S. small cap strategies to institutional and retail investors in Taiwan.
In the 12 months through June 30, 2013, U.S. mutual fund assets increased 25% to $37.7 billion. Assets in the firm’s Dublin-based funds available to non-U.S. investors increased 67% to $12.2 billion in the 12 months through June 30. As of June 30, 2013, $50.1 billion was managed for investors outside the United States, 23% of total AUM, compared with $41.2 billion, or 21% of the total on June 30, 2012. The firm also gained a total of $10.5 billion of new institutional business from 192 clients across 39 strategies for the 12 months through June 2013.
Looking ahead in 2013 and into 2014, Neuberger Berman managers and strategists see select investment opportunities globally within equities and fixed income. Among their views:
- Large-Cap U.S. Equities: Attractive valuations on an absolute and relative basis, with ananticipation of acceleration this year. Valuations today still look attractive relative to other markets around the world.
- Small-Cap U.S. Equities: Continued positive outlook in anticipation of a pick-up in M&A activity, which is typically a supportive driver of small caps. The asset class remains well positioned within the context of an improving domestic backdrop and offers good exposure to the ongoing manufacturing renaissance.
- European Equities: Economic data may be bottoming while equity risk premiums are at more attractive levels compared with places like the United States. European companies are overcoming the labor costs that have burdened them and investors appear to have moved beyond the persistent sovereign debt fears of the past three years. Focus shifts more to growth than sovereign risk.
- Emerging Market Equities: Caution remains appropriate, with a focus on individual company fundamentals. Longer-term potential for emerging market equities remains intact.
- High Yield Spreads: The rise in high yield credit spreads is largely due to technical factors, including mutual fund outflows. Spreads should narrow with expected continued low defaults. Bank loans, attractive given their floating-rate structure, could provide an additional buffer should there be a more prolonged and pronounced rising interest rate environment.
- Global Fixed Income Opportunities: With the recent declines, our global fixed income team is finding opportunities in local currency emerging market debt, high yield bonds and agency mortgages.
“Ours is a unique and stable investment culture, with more than 40 distinct and highly experienced portfolio teams focused on seeking superior long-term investment performance for clients,” said Joe Amato. “While we are proud that clients continue to entrust us with more of their money, we will always measure our success in client satisfaction rather than assets under management.”
About Neuberger Berman
Neuberger Berman is a private, independent, employee-controlled investment manager. It partners with institutions, advisors and individuals throughout the world to customize solutions that address their needs for income, growth and capital preservation. With more than 400 professionals focused exclusively on asset management, it offers an investment culture of independent thinking. Founded in 1939, the company provides solutions across equities, fixed income, hedge funds and private equity, and had $214 billion in assets under management as of June 30, 2013. For more information, please visit our website atwww.nb.com.