Bradesco joins with FTSE to offer Latin American ‘smart beta’

Rio de JaneioroLatin America's third largest fund manager, Bradesco Asset Management, has thrown its hat into the 'smart beta' ring, joining with FTSE Group in Europe to launch an alternatively weighted fund. The fund targets Latin America equities and is the first of a string of alternatively weighted funds that BRAM, as the business is known, plans to launch in the near future. "We offer passive funds in Brazil but this is our first smart beta fund and also our first fund that is linked to a bespoke index," says Luiz Osorio, head of international business development at the firm, which ranks as Latin America's third largest asset manager. Axel Simonsen, head of systematic products, says: "This represents a new start for us." 'Systematic products' is an area created in BRAM to support a move away from traditional capitalisation-weighted indices. The Bradesco Global Funds - FTSE Latin America Quality Value Equity fund and index are designed to provide investors with diversified exposure to Latin America equities, by harnessing factors that have been rewarding, such as low volatility, quality and relative valuation. Simonsen adds that, although the product marks a new focus, the firm – which has in excess of $150 billion (€121 billion) in assets under management – continues to identify and respond to demand from investors and providing them with risk-adjusted exposure. BRAM plans to bring a similar alternative beta fund to market in the near future for institutional Brazilian investors, with an investment universe focused on Brazilian names. BRAM recently appointed Reinaldo le Grazie as its new chief executive officer, following Joaquim Levy's departure to become Brazil's finance minister. Le Grazie was promoted from his role as the firm's head of fixed income and hedge funds, having joined the asset manager in 2011 after establishing and leading his own company, Proventus Invest. ©2014 funds europe

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