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Rating:Neuberger Berman Puts its Bond Pros in the Spotlight Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Neuberger Berman Puts its Bond Pros in the Spotlight

Reported by Armie Margaret Lee

Neuberger Berman showcased its fixed income pros led at a press luncheon it hosted at a restaurant in midtown Manhattan on Wednesday.

The event, held at Patroon, was attended by around 25 reporters hailing from media outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg and The Financial Times. This marks the first time that Neuberger held a press event focusing on fixed income. It has hosted media events at its headquarters featuring fixed income, equity and alternatives professionals.

Brad Tank, chief investment officer of fixed income, led the group of panelists that discussed their outlook for 2011.

Other panelists included Andy Johnson, head of investment grade fixed income and portfolio manager; Thomas Sontag, portfolio manager; Wai Lee, chief investment officer and director of research for the quantitative investment group; Thomas O'Reilly, co-PM for high yield and blended credit portfolios and James Iselin, senior PM in the municipal fixed income team.

During the Q&A, a reporter brought up what had been widely documented in the press last week about Pimco's Total Return Fund having outflows last month, its first month of net outflows in two years, and asked what Neuberger officials what they've been witnessing in their bond funds.

"Our muni funds have seen modest outflows," Tank said, adding: "A lot of shareholders in our funds come to us through financial intermediaries, they tend to have a longer-term focus and less of what I would describe as a hot-money focus."

Iselin, who's part of the municipal fixed income team, said that industrywide, there was an average of about $700 million of flows a week going into muni bond funds in the first nine months of the year. Flows then started to taper off in October. "Then November rolled around and we kind of slammed into a brick wall," he said. The sell-off since November, he noted, was related to supply and demand imbalances in the muni space and "not related to a credit event." 

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