Worries over potentially higher interest rates ahead is causing consternation in the domestic bond market. That is why Nationwide is launching a pair of global, fixed-income funds today that will offer investors the opportunity to diversify their bond exposure internationally.
"We can find interest rates that are higher in other markets, or where easing will take place in other markets where there is a total return opportunity," said Mike Spangler, president of Nationwide Funds.
Amundi Smith Breeden will subadvise the Nationwide Amundi Global High Yield Fund and the Nationwide Amundi Strategic Income Fund. Amundi Smith Breeden in Durham, N.C., serves as the North American investment headquarters for Amundi, a $1.1 trillion global asset manager with six investment centers across the U.S., Europe and Asia. Nationwide currently manages 118 funds with approximately $58.1 billion in assets, excluding the fund of funds.
According to Spangler, the Nationwide Amundi Global High Yield Fund will go beyond just U.S. high yield to include exposure to the high-yield debt markets in Europe and the emerging markets. Kenneth Monaghan will be the manager for this fund.
"About 60% of global issuance happens outside the U.S.," said Spangler. "There is a great home bias in equity portfolios and I think it's recognized that there is home bias in fixed income portfolios, as well."
He said the Nationwide Amundi Strategic Income Fund will have significant flexibility in its pursuit of delivering a high level of income to its investors. The fund, which will be managed by Jonathan Duensing, will invest in multiple sectors of the global fixed-income markets, such as investment-grade corporates, global high-yield, bank loans, mortgage and asset backed securities and emerging markets debt.
"The team is going to leverage the global capabilities of Amundi," said Spangler. "They have a great global research platform and an international brand. And this will be the first portfolio that will be launched in the U.S. subadvised by Amundi."