New European Special Situations and Japan Flexible Equity funds have been created by BlackRock following the consolidation of its product range.
The group’s £300 million European Small & MidCap Opportunities fund has merged into the £500 million European Growth fund, now re-named as the European Special Situations fund. Over the past three years European Growth has returned 39.7%, compared with an average of 19.3% from its Citywire peer group.
Citywire AA-rated Michael Constantis, manager of both old funds, will run European Special Situations. The new product will define special situations as ‘companies with potential for improvement that the market has failed to appreciate’, and will invest around half its assets in small and mid-caps.
BlackRock has also formed a new Japan Flexible Equity fund from the merger of its £53 million Japan fund into its £148 million Japan Value fund. Marc Desmidt will head the new fund and will invest along both growth and value lines. Japan Value has returned 39.3% on a three-year view, compared with a 41.6% average from its Citywire sector.
In addition, BlackRock has merged its £150 million World Income fund into its £600 million Fixed Income Global Opportunities fund. World Income manager Scott Thiel, AA rated by Citywire, will become co-manager of Fixed Income Global Opportunities alongside A-rated Rick Rieder (pictured).
Fixed Income Global Opportunities will remain a ‘full spectrum’ bond fund, including the ability to invest in asset-backed securities and mortgage-backed securities. The fund has, over the past three years, returned 14.8%; the average for its Citywire category through the same period is 7.9%.