AGI plans to expand its British retail offering

Nick Smith, head of retail at Allianz Global Investors (AGI), says it is looking to expand its British retail offering with a range of 130/30 funds.

He also confirms that AGI has started test-marketing an onshore version of its Luxembourg-domiciled Global EcoTrends portfolio, unveiled last May.

The move follows the company’s registration of several Sicavs for sale in Britain earlier this year.

Smith says AGI is not planning to actively market the rest of its offshore portfolios.

He says: “Global EcoTrends has performed and sold incredibly well and, as with the Bric [Brazil, Russia, India and China] fund, there is an argument that we should launch a UK-domiciled product. We have not made a decision yet, but the initial response has been favourable.”

AGI unveiled its onshore Bric Stars fund last February, following the successful launch of an offshore version in 2005. The onshore fund has so far accrued about £80m in assets.

The €490m (£330m) offshore Global EcoTrends fund is run by AGI’s London-based socially responsible investment team, headed by Bozena Jankowska. The fund focuses on three “eco-sectors”. The first, energy, includes companies investing in areas such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, microgeneration and hybrid cars.

Pollution control covers companies providing air filters, recycling and industrial pollution control. The final category, clean water, looks at infrastructure, desalination plants and water purification.

While Smith’s main focus is on Global EcoTrends, he adds that AGI is considering developing its 130/30 products for the British retail market.

He says: “We are looking at 130/30s in a broad sense. It is something every asset management firm should be looking at.”