Stephen Cranston Writer & columnist

There is nothing unusual about the concept of tactical asset allocation (TAA). Whether a client uses a single manager or a multimanager, part of the service he or she expects is for the fund manager to sell equities when they are expensive and to buy when they are cheap. Yet in the most recent century TAA was an Australian airline best known for ripping off the public. The prevailing orthodoxy, as expressed by the pioneers of multimanagement such as Frank Russell and SEI, was that stock selection was good, but tampering with asset allocation bad. It is true that these multimanagers, with their background in pension fund consulting, lacked the skills to manage a TAA programme, but others emerged. The most prominent of these was London-based Prudential M&G. The head of the TAA unit there, Dave Fishwick, had to put up with the kind of abuse from multimanagers that Scientologists get when they leave the church. The worst term of abuse in this somewhat geeky world is to be called a marke...

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