The vogue for launching total-return bond funds continues, with Threadneedle’s absolute-return bond fund about to join the throng. The fund is a spin-off of the credit crescendo hedge fund run by head of fixed interest Robert Stirling.Having gained experience with that product, Threadneedle wanted to launch a UK-specific version. The fund will be launched under the Ucits III regime and aim for a return of 2 per cent above cash. It will invest between 20 and 25 per cent in non-fixed-interest securities, derivatives, currency plays and so on, with the remainder in cash or short-dated bonds. The fund will have the flexibility to go 100 per cent into cash but Threadneedle does not anticipate using the option. It will have an unconstrained remit, allowing it to move across the credit spectrum to gener- ate the required return. Quentin Fitzsimmons, more widely known institutionally, is to be the lead manager, with Miles Bradshaw his deputy. We understand that Stirling will have an involvement, too. It is an increasingly crowded area that Threadneedle is launching into but its decision to launch without an initial charge is likely to attract interest. Income is not payable in the usual way but will operate under a cash withdrawal facility that Threadneedle uses on other funds. Minimum investment is 2,000 and there is a 1.25 per cent annual charge. It will be in the UK other bond or unclassified sector.