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Constant companion

Constant proportion portfolio insurance has become a popular mech-anism for providing capital-protected products over recent years. Prior to that, the retail market tended to rely on the cash and call option model which has been used extensively in both fixed-term and open-ended products. Perhaps the most recognised prov-ider of cash and call funds is Close Fund Management.

Its UK escalator 100 fund was launched nearly 10 years ago. Over this time, it has delivered a total return of 53 per cent. The FTSE 100 index itself has delivered a total return of 92 per cent over the same period and, interestingly, the IMA cautious managed sector average is up by 85 per cent.

The cash and call method is certainly valid and it can provide excellent value when used with fixed-term products. However, CPPI is probably the better option for new open-ended product developments. Data shows that a well constructed CPPI product on the FTSE would have delivered around 71 per cent since Close’s fund was launched.

According to a CPPI products report by AKG, the majority use an index as the investment engine. That is fine but what the retail market wants is a CPPI product based on a basket of very actively managed high alpha funds. In other words, using funds that have the ability to drive strong investment returns and making the investment bank behind the protection really earn its risk premium. Surely there is a provider up for this challenge?

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