Strictly Private & Confidential
EPIC International Bond Fund
24 August 2010
EPIC Asset Management Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority and is a subsidiary of EPIC Investment Partners Limited.
Telephone calls may be recorded.
This document is strictly private and confidential and may not be copied nor its contents passed to any third party without the prior written approval of
EPIC Asset Management Limited.
A conservatively run UCITS III global sterling bond fund quoted in Ireland and investing in government,
supranational and investment grade corporate bonds, managed by a small team of dedicated bond
managers. Bloomberg symbol: ZEEPIAI:ID
Aims to provide investors with a return significantly higher than the yield on cash, together with low
volatility of returns; benchmarked against 3m GBP LIBOR
The current income yield is 4.14%, the modified portfolio duration is 2.22 years and the current NAV of
the Fund is £12.5m.
Multiple share classes: retail and institutional, income and accumulation (income is paid gross on a
semi-annual basis). The Fund qualifies for ISA investment
Annual management charge is 0.95% with a 0.45% trail to Ashcourt Rowan Financial Advisors for the
retail units, and 0.65% without trail for the institutional units. There is a 3% initial charge for the retail
The Fund goes live on Cofunds on 1 September 2010 and it is already on the buy lists of several life
insurance companies for their offshore bonds.
Investment Guidelines & Restrictions
At least 30% of the NAV of the Fund shall be invested in G7 Government and Quasi-
The restrictions provide a Government Bonds (defined as supranational, government agency, and government
delicate balance of the freedom guaranteed bonds ) rated „AAA‟ to „A-‟ (or equivalent) by a recognised rating agency.
to seek out opportunities to Included in this category, at least 20% of the NAV of the Sub-Fund shall be invested in pure
create return across a broad G7 government bonds
spectrum of the global fixed
income market, while exposing
No more than 80% of the NAV of the Fund shall be invested in government bonds issued by
OECD member countries other than the G7
the fund to minimal volatility and
default risk by avoiding sub- No more than 80% of the NAV of the Fund shall be invested in Quasi-Government Bonds,
investment grade debt entirely. subject to no more than 50% issued in Quasi-Government Bonds of OECD member
countries other than the G7
Investment guidelines and
restrictions shown are limits; No more than 70% of the NAV of the Fund shall be invested in corporate bonds that are not
while always remaining inside government guaranteed
these limits, during some No more than 20% of the NAV of the Fund may be held in non-government guaranteed
periods we may position far corporate bonds within each market sector. Sectors are defined in Appendix II
within these limits.
The Fund may not invest in securities other than those issued in, or issued by OECD
Estimated total risk of fund: governments or government agencies or by entities regulated, listed or carrying on the
4.5% annualised volatility based predominant part of their business in an OECD member country
on rolling 12 month periods
No more than 15% of the NAV of the Fund may be held in cash and money market securities
(approximately one third the (including negotiable certificates of deposit, term deposits, U.S. Treasury bills and
volatility of large-cap equities). commercial paper)
• No leverage and no net short position • No investments outside of the OECD countries
• No mortgage-backed securities • No exposure outside of OECD countries‟ currencies
• No sub-investment grade debt • Sector limits of 20% (see Appendix)
• Maximum portfolio modified duration = 5
How is the Fund currently invested?
How is the Fund doing to date?
The fund's mandate requires it to place low volatility as a very high priority. In consequence, in a very low yield environment,
rather than taking more risk in order to hunt for yield, we have invested to minimise the damage as yields rise in the medium
term, and have kept the interest rate sensitivity (duration) low.
Duration remains very firmly in the lower part of its 0-5 range, although Credit risk has also been kept tightly controlled, with
the fund's average credit rating standing at 'AA-'. Nevertheless, return has been considerably in excess of benchmark in the
period from 12/07/10 to date, with the fund returning 6.40% annualised (net of fees).
Over the period, all non-GBP positions were hedged. It was not considered appropriate to take non-Sterling exposure at this
time, and indeed, the Pound performed strongly against most of its peers during the period, thus had we taken un-hedged
foreign exposure it would have detracted from returns.
Corporate debt has been instrumental in adding yield and gaining access to what we expect to be outperformance relative to
government debt if, as we expect, spreads continue gradually to tighten. Our expectation of gradually falling volatility means
that such securities purchased during the period have the potential for continued strong returns.
Semi-government securities such as agencies were employed to a considerable extent to provide government-type levels of
credit risk with only a minimal reduction in liquidity and a slight pick-up in yield.
European government debt remains interesting and a source of trading opportunities, as relative pricing fluctuates and
generally remains disparate. Whilst there are many that we have avoided (e.g. Germany is too expensive; Greece is too
risky), there are others which are on occasion relatively attractive in certain maturity areas, as a result of being unfairly
punished by market perception. 5
Risk - Return Relationship – where does the Fund sit?
Current Themes Driving Asset Allocation
The fund's first month has come against an eventful economic backdrop. With general recognition that the US economy's
recovery is more fragile than had been thought, government bond yields have remained low with a bias towards moving
even lower, while speculation that the Fed's asset purchases might be 'rolled over' into new purchases on maturity has
provided ammunition for some tightening of corporate bond spreads, propelled further in the financial sector by very
strong 2nd quarter earnings from the banks.
Meanwhile, European governments have made progress with fiscal reforms, Greece finally improving its tax take and
forcing much-needed spending reductions, while other, less distressed European states did likewise. Nevertheless
markets are not taking a rapid turnaround for granted and continue to trade the various Euro sovereigns at wildly varying
levels of yield.
The theme of governments making necessary fiscal policy changes extends to the UK, in which the new government's
agenda of spending cuts is being pursued, with very strong Q2 GDP growth vindicating the decision to launch significant
cuts at an early stage when some had argued that the economy's recovery was too weak. Aggressive fiscal tightening
has been compensated by looser monetary policy in the hope of avoiding a double dip recession and this is driving Gilt
The general trends in markets over the period were towards lower government yields, flatter government curves, tighter
corporate spreads, but a continuation of moderately some volatility in currencies and corporate yields. Some of these
factors have rendered the current market environment even lower yielding than 2 months ago.
Introducing EPIC Asset Management (“EPAM”)
Established in 2001 as a specialist fixed income manager, serving clients in the UK, US, Europe
and Offshore. EPIC is part of the Syndicate Asset Management group.
£2.2 billion assets under management (as at 30 June 2010) on behalf of 35 clients
Portfolios ranging in size from under £2 million to over £1 billion
EPIC Asset Management Limited
Treasury & Liquidity Discretionary
& Bond Fund
Management Portfolio Management
Building Insurance Liquidity Absolute
Societies Companies Funds Return Funds
Friendly Investment Short Duration
Societies Trusts Capital Preservation Funds
* EPAM acts as Investment Advisor/Manager to the various funds detailed above and does not offer products/services directly to Retail Clients
Our Competitive Strengths
Our experienced team is comprised of investment managers, economic and market
PEOPLE strategists and credit analysts, who work together in a collegiate manner
Our aim is to distinguish between risk and return, and differentiate value from price
PHILOSOPHY Capital preservation is at the heart of our philosophy
We highlight value by determining factors that will drive growth, inflation and asset prices
around the globe
PROCESS Our research is sufficiently robust to highlight relevant themes, assess their relative
importance and implement appropriate strategy across an array of mandates
Strong track record in all types of investment vehicles
PERFORMANCE Strict risk controls, with conservative investment restrictions and daily monitoring
of exposures and volatility measures
Personal client relationships are integral to our business
RELATIONSHIPS Direct contact with your allocated Portfolio Manger and their team
Bespoke reporting package and open channels of communication
Thematic ideas formed and reviewed though monthly strategy meetings involving whole team
Rigorous intellectual overview of our quantitative in-house models, complementing fundamental
1. Analysis & forecasts - Economic Factors; Bond Yields; Currencies; Equities; Other Assets
2. Market - Duration; Yield Curve; Risk Premia
3. Credit - Government, Semi-Government, Corporates
4. Portfolio Rebalancing
Fund objectives and risk controls are incorporated at each stage in the process
Mapping the Investment Process
Quantitative Overlay Developing Themes Economic Factors
Scenario Analysis Bond Yields & Currencies
Sovereign Research Commodities & Equities
Market: Duration & Yield Curve Security Selection
Modelling Curve Positioning
Credit: sectors & selection Duration Control
Government Fixed coupon
Government Agencies Floating Rate
Corporate Bonds Bullet/Perpetual
Investment Management Team
Ravi Shankar - Chief Investment Officer
Nigel Davies - Investment Director
Bryan Bazin - Investment Director
Nigel Marsh – Senior Fund Manager
Adam Tyrrell* - Fund Manager
Achilles Sofroniou* - Fund Manager
Emma Butler - Fund Manager
Bob Devine - Asset Manager
Donal Mullane - Head of Credit
*Responsible for day-to-day running of the EPIC International Bond Fund
This document is strictly private and confidential and may not be copied nor its contents passed to any third party without the prior written
approval of EPIC Asset Management Limited.
This document is directed solely at investors who are not “retail customers" (within the FSA rules) and should not be construed as an offer
or solicitation to buy or sell any investment.
The value of funds and the income from them may fluctuate and may fall as well as rise. Past performance is not necessarily a guide to
future investment returns from funds. The funds investments may involve foreign currency transactions (i.e. denominated in a currency
other than the investor‟s base currency) and may therefore be subject to fluctuations in currency values and the value of such investments
may fall as well as rise.
The value of principal and income from a structured investment may fluctuate. The investor may not get back the original amount invested.
Simulations based on past performance may not necessarily be a reliable guide to future investment returns from structured investments.
The value of structured investments may be affected by changes in economic, financial and political factors, including market conditions,
market volatility and the credit quality of the underlying assets of credit portfolios would vary based on the default condition.
Structured investments are complex securities. EPIC Asset Management makes no representation that a secondary market for such
securities will exist at any time in the future. An investor should have both the ability and intent to hold such investments for a specific
period of time.
EPIC Asset Management Limited or an affiliated company may have an interest, position or effect transactions in any investment
mentioned. Any information contained herein has been obtained from reliable sources but we do not represent that it is accurate or
complete. Any opinions or recommendations are those of the author and are subject to change without notice. The value of funds and the
income from them may fluctuate and may fall as well as rise. Past performance is not necessarily a guide to future investment returns from
funds. The funds investments may involve foreign currency transactions (i.e. denominated in a currency other than the investor‟s base
currency) and may therefore be subject to fluctuations in currency values and the value of such investments may fall as well as rise.
EPIC Asset Management Limited (EPAM) will be the investment manager to the EPIC International Bond Fund (the Fund), and the
administration will be handled by a third party custodian bank. Any marketing of the Fund to investors who would be classified by the FSA
as Retail Clients will be undertaken via a network of distribution partners subject to the appropriate regulatory approvals. If you are unsure
of the suitability of this investment please contact your Independent Financial Adviser.
The Fund is a sub-fund of the Zenith Investment Fund plc (the Umbrella Fund), an Open-Ended Investment Company with Variable Capital
and segregated liability between sub-funds, established in Ireland and authorised by the Irish Financial Regulator. The constitutional
documentation and Prospectus for the Umbrella Fund and the Supplement and Simplified Prospectus for the Fund can be obtained in the
UK from the registered office of the Umbrella Fund given below.
This presentation is only intended only to provide a general outline of the subject and should not be considered advice or a basis for
making investment decisions. The opinions given are relevant at the time of going to press and may change in the future.
Past performance may not be a reliable guide to future performance and the content of this factsheet should not be viewed as indicating
any guarantee of return from an investment or as a recommendation to buy and sell stocks. The value of an investment can go down as
well as up and investors may not get back their original investment.
EPAM is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority and is a member of the Syndicate Asset Management plc group of
Registered Office: c/o Ashcourt Group, 6th Floor, East Wing, Vintners Place, 68 Upper Thames Street, London. Registered in England &
Wales No 04195976.