STANDARD LIFE INVESTMENTS Global Absolute Return Strategies now widely available in Canada

GARS Offers Institutional Investors Potential for Long Term Equity-Like Returns with
Considerably Less Uncertainty

MONTREAL, May 30, 2011 /CNW Telbec/ - Standard Life Investments, a premier global asset manager, today announced that its Global Absolute Return Strategies (GARS) Portfolio is now widely available to institutional investors in Canada. A daily valued version of GARS is now available to tax exempt investors through Standard Life Investments and Standard Life's Group Savings and Retirement's Quality and Choice Investment Program.

Standard Life Investments UK originally launched GARS in September 2005 to satisfy the requirements of Standard Life plc's own defined benefits pension plan. The success was compelling enough to capture the attention of institutional investors in Europe, Australia, the U.S., and now Canada.

During the financial crisis of 2008, while global equity markets fell over 40%, the UK GARS fund only fell by 4.7%. Since the inception of the fund, it has produced a gross annualised return of 9.3% with a volatility of only 6.2%. Over the same period global equities, denoted by the MSCI World Index, returned 6.7% per year with a volatility of 17%1.

Standard Life Puts Its Skin in the Game
"In no uncertain terms, Standard Life put its skin in the game, and investors have responded very positively ever since," said Chris Arnott, Investment Director, Standard Life Investments in the UK. "GARS is an innovative investment solution designed to lessen the ups and downs of the economic cycle, grounded by the thinking of our most experienced strategists and vigorous risk management. Clients truly appreciate that GARS was developed by us, and originally, for us," added Arnott.

"There simply is no other comparable fund available. GARS uses the widest range of strategies, aimed at diversifying risk and achieving positive returns in all market conditions," said Emmanuel Matte, Vice-President, at Standard Life Investments in Canada. "GARS is an ideal complement to a liability-driven investment strategy or more generally, for institutional investors looking for long term equity-like returns with considerably less uncertainty," added Matte.

Alcoa Chooses GARS
Today, GARS has over $11.4 billion of assets under management and has attracted over 300 institutional clients spanning a range of blue chip corporate, charity and local authority pension funds. In Canada, eligible investors are already opting to participate, including Alcoa Canada.

"We were eager to de-risk our Alcoa Canada pension fund portfolio while maintaining similar long term equity-like target returns. Simply put, Standard Life Investments' GARS portfolio meets our requirements," said Alain Taillefer, Alcoa Canadian Shared Services Manager, Alcoa Canada. "We have allocated a portion of our defined benefits portfolio toward GARS and we are confident that it will help sustain our pension fund on the long term, for the benefit of our company and our employees," said Taillefer.

The Global Absolute Return Strategies Portfolio aims to deliver an absolute return over rolling 12-month periods and has a target return of cash2 +5% per annum (gross of fees) over rolling 3-year periods. To achieve this, the Multi-Asset Investing Team looks to exploit market inefficiencies through active allocation to highly diversified market positions. They utilise a combination of traditional assets (such as equities, bonds and real estate) with advanced instruments, such as derivatives, to achieve a highly diversified portfolio. To manage risk, GARS makes use of derivatives.

About Standard Life Investments
Standard Life Investments Inc. has been providing investment management services in Canada since 1973 and manages approximately CDN$30.63 billion of assets. SLI Inc. is a subsidiary of Edinburgh-based Standard Life Investments Limited, a premier asset manager and part of the Standard Life group that manages CDN$244.03 billion on behalf of clients worldwide.

1 As at March 31, 2011.
2 The Canadian-based fund targets the 6-month Canadian Dealer Offered Rate (CDOR) as its proxy for cash returns.
3 As at December 31, 2010.

SOURCE STANDARD LIFE INVESTMENTS INC.

For further information:

Céline Hébert
Standard Life Investments Inc.
514-841-6962
Celine.Hebert@standardlife.ca 
                Stephanie Lyttle
NATIONAL Public Relations
514-843-2365
slyttle@national.ca
 

 

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