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Morgan Stanley opens access to specialist funds

Morgan Stanley Investment Management is targeting multi-managers with a new US Sicav and 26 other funds it is making available to UK investors through the creation of distributor share classes.

The new fund, American franchise, has been launched with distributor status at the outset. It will follow a similar investment approach to the firm’s popular global franchise fund, which invests in companies with strong brand names and patents in industries with high barriers to entry.

The fund will target positive returns in all market conditions and aim for low volatility.

Morgan Stanley began adding distributor status to its Sicav range last May when it initially made 11 funds available to UK investors. Higher levels of interest than expected in these core funds has led Morgan Stanley to open up its extended range to investors.

The fund manager will specifically target fund of fund managers with its more specialist mandates, including its Asian property fund, which it believes is unique in the UK and a useful tool in building global property exposure.

Executive director Richard Lockwood says: “We are a specialist house running spec- ialist mandates. One of the things that make us a bit different is that our investment teams operate on a quasi-independent basis and there is no house view. It could be likened to a boutique-type structure but with the resources of a global house.

“We are expecting interest from fund of fund managers because they like to asset allocate themselves. In particular, we expect a lot of interest in the Asian property fund. A year ago, Asian property was not popular so we did not make it part of the initial 11 which gained distributor status.”

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