Funds Hub

Money managers under the microscope

Volatility a fact of life for BlackRock’s Lyttleton

June 24, 2010

By Deborah Cicurel

After a month or two of volatile equity prices and a yo-yoing stock market, steady returns seemed about as likely as France lifting the 2010 World Cup.

However, Mark Lyttleton, co-manager of the Blackrock UK Absolute Alpha fund sees a way out, claiming his fund — which made money in 2008′s falling markets but underperformed equities in 2009′s rebound and in Q1 2010 – can navigate its way through the current macroeconomic worries.

He argues the fund’s two main themes, namely “that financial markets would continue to heal and that corporate discretionary expenditure would rebound strongly”, are still working.

And he has recently bought shares in IT hardware and software companies “in expectation that corporates will be reinvesting in their business”.

“We have introduced a short position in the UK life assurance sector,” he added, “partly to hedge the financial exposure elsewhere in the fund, and partly because of the likelihood that capital pressures will intensify.”

However, Lyttleton concedes that “market volatility is a fact of life” — so while the worst share turbulence may be over, the stock market may not be smooth sailing just yet.

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