The company says the diversity fund was down by 0.4 per cent as at March 7 while the select boutiques fund was down by 7 per cent over the same period. The FTSE All Share was down by over 10 per cent during the same period.
The diversity fund is split a third each in equities, bonds and alternatives.
Bonds have not been helpful but the team is dealing with this by underweighting the credit markets so that there is a small position in bonds with the remainder in cash.
The performance of this part of the portfolio has been offset by big wins in commodities through Schroder agricultural and JP Morgan natural resources funds.
Hedge funds have also been positive. Swip says its holding in the Dexion absolute alpha fund has performed well due to increased market volatility, but this volatility has not been kind to the fund’s underlying equity managers. The majority of Swip diversity’s equity managers have outperformed their benchmarks but market turmoil has made it difficult to achieve positive returns on an absolute basis.
The select boutique fund has been wrestling with this problem despite its focus on managers who target absolute returns. Swip manager Simon Wood says: “All the managers in the select boutiques fund have an absolute return mindset but long-only managers do not get much protection if the market is in freefall.”