Q&A with Mike Brooks, Head of Diversified Multi Asset, Aberdeen

Guest blog: Mike Brooks, Head of Diversified Multi Asset, Aberdeen

Mike Brooks is Head of Diversified Multi-Asset within Investment Solutions and is co-lead manager of the Diversified Growth fund. Mike joined Aberdeen in 2015 from Baillie Gifford where he was an Investment Manager in the Diversified Growth team. He co-founded the Diversified Growth strategy at Baillie Gifford in 2008, playing a leading role in the development of the philosophy and process, in the on-going management of the fund and in the successful expansion of the client base. Mike joined Baillie Gifford in 2000 as Head of Investment Risk. Prior to this he was Head of Quantitative Research at Aegon Asset Management and is a qualified actuary.

Can you explain your approach to multi-asset investing?

At Aberdeen, we have an intensive but fully transparent approach to multi-asset investing which aims to generate repeatable performance across the market cycle. The hallmark of our approach is to make full use of diversification so investors’ returns are not solely driven by the returns of equity and bond markets. Instead, we actively seek the best traditional and alternative investments to try to generate sustainable and consistent performance. Our portfolios are designed to harness diversification for a lower volatility approach – which should lead to less surprises along the way.

How do your diversified growth, diversified income and core diversified strategies differ?

Our diversified growth and income funds follow the same philosophy: a genuinely diversified portfolio, unconstrained by a benchmark, and flexibly managed to respond to changing markets. We have slightly more freedom to generate performance in the growth fund, because there is no specific income requirement and so higher growth, non-yielding asset classes can play a greater role. Our diversified core range takes the same philosophy and approach but, with a focus on keeping costs to a minimum, certain asset classes and active management styles are reduced or excluded.

Why do you think multi-asset investing is suitable to the current global investment climate?

In the past a simple blend of equities and bonds worked well, but both asset classes now face headwinds. Investors are trying to find other ways to generate growth in their portfolios, but every new investment they make, or new manager they select, adds complexity. Multi-asset funds are an attractive way of building diversification into a portfolio while keeping things simple for the investor.

Watch the full interview with Mike Brooks. What lies ahead for income investors?

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