Aviva Investors plans to launch a UK absolute alpha fund towards the end of April.
Initially it is likely to be focused on the British market, but it may later be expanded to a global mandate.
Managers with long/short experience on Aviva’s UK equities desk will run the fund, but the group says that the lead manager has not yet been confirmed.
The fund is designed to rival the popular absolute return offerings from BlackRock and Cazenove. However, John Clougherty, the managing director of retail investments, maintains it will not be a copycat product.
“This is an area of the market we are actively researching. We are looking at developments in the asset class and assessing demand, which we think will be strong for this type of product,” he says.
“We are talking to advisers to see if there is a gap for this fund and that we can differentiate it. We don’t want to launch a ‘me-too’ fund: we want to launch it to meet demand.”
Meanwhile Clougherty says that Aviva has been reviewing its fund range since it was rebranded last year to ensure that every product is relevant to the retail market. The group may close or merge away some smaller offerings, and will look to bring offshore products onshore where there is demand, he adds.