The ING-owned multi-manager Optimix has spread $250 million across four emerging markets funds after an overhaul of its strategic asset allocation.

According to Emmanuel Calligeris, Optimix chief investment officer, the $250 million emerging markets mandate has been awarded at the expense of its current international shares managers. “We’re keeping the same growth versus defensive mix in the portfolio but have rejigged the global shares allocation,” Calligeris said. After the ‘rejig’ the Optimix balanced fund will include a 5 per cent allocation to emerging markets with its mainstream international shares mandate dropping from 25 per cent to 20 per cent. The growth fund will also allocate 5 per cent to emerging markets with the global equities component reducing to 22 per cent from 27 per cent. As well, the Optimix high growth fund will reduce its international shares mandate from 50 per cent to 41 per cent with 9 per cent now allocated to emerging markets. Calligeris said Optimix has adopted a “core/satellite” approach to the global emerging market mandate with two managers, PanAgora Asset Managment and Deutsche Asset Management, earmarked for 70 per cent of funds. The remaining 30 per cent will be divided between Comgest Far East Company and Optimix’s own India fund. OptiMix in India, which launched in 2005, will give the portfolio exposure to Karma Capital, Reliance Capital AMC, Unit Trust of India and Religare Securities. Calligeris said while Optimix was “more than comfortable” with the mainstream international share managers on its list, the new strategic asset allocation was intended to capture future growth potential without taking on too much risk. “Inherently there is more volatility in emerging markets,” he said. “We wanted to spice the portfolio up but too much spice can cause indigestion.” According to Calligeris, the Optimix emerging markets managers will target “homegrown growth” rather than expose themselves to large international companies included in a typical BRIC strategy. Optimix currently manages $7.4 billion in Australia of mainly retail money.

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