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Neuberger Berman set to launch three EMD funds

Neuberger Berman set to launch three EMD funds

Neuberger Berman will launch three emerging market bond funds for its newly-formed specialist unit led by a team of star managers hired from ING Investment Managers, Citywire Global can exclusively reveal.

The strategies mark the first official launch for the Neuberger Berman team, which was formed earlier this year following a spate of high profile hirings by the US asset management firm.

The first of the three new strategies will be the Neuberger Berman Emerging Markets Hard Currency Debt fund, which will be launched in early June. This will be run by Euro Stars A-rated manager Bart van der Made, who is based in The Hague.

This will be followed in July by the Neuberger Berman Emerging Markets Local Currency Debt fund, which will be run by a team led by Raoul Luttik and Prashant Singh.

Finally, the firm plans to announce the launch of the Neuberger Berman Corporate fund for Nish Popat and Jennifer Gorgoll who are currently sat in The Hague and Atlanta, respectively.  

All three funds will be managed combining bottom-up bond scrutiny with top-down regional allocation decisions.

The five lead portfolio managers are part of a 22 person dedicated emerging markets debt team, including five additional portfolio managers, six analysts and a team of four economists and strategists. Of these 22 new hires, 19 have joined from ING IM.

Speaking to Citywire Global on the fund launches, Rob Drijkoningen (pictured), who will oversee the new unit with Gorky Urquieta, said:

‘It is very similar to what we operated previously. So we will be using the same process, people and style we previously used across hard currency, local currency and corporate debt in the emerging markets.’

Future focus

Drijkoningen said the team would look to access Neuberger Berman’s strong US presence and capitalise on the increasing attention being paid to EMD among institutions, consultants and private clients in North America.

He added: ‘Neuberger Barman’s’ sole focus on asset management was a key rationale for my decision to move from a position where I was overseeing $16 billion to an entirely new venture as well as the ability to meet new contacts in new markets such as this.'

In addition, he said the EMD unit will work alongside the existing fixed income capabilities on offer at Neuberger Berman, which includes top performing high yield trio Russ Covode, Ann Benjamin and Tom O’Reilly.

Dik van Lomwel, head of EMEA and Latin America, added: ‘In fixed income particularly the interplay between asset classes is crucial, so we searched for two years to find managers who were not only team players but also shared our investment culture.’

‘The managers will stay in their current locations, so we now have teams in Atlanta, The Hague and Singapore.’

The planned launches come to light shortly after ING Investment Managers CIO Hans Stoter set out his own plans to rebuild his firm's depleted EMD unit.

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