Global Low Volatility Equities

A competitive, active and systematic equity strategy which aims to deliver higher risk-adjusted returns than the broad global equity market by targeting the low volatility effect.

Our edge

  • Boutique, entrepreneurial team backed by supportive parent and strong asset management platform. Support structure enables investment team to stay focused on quantitative portfolio management and research.
  • A culture of challenge and debate ensures a critical eye is cast over every research initiative. We are students of the market and constantly aim to advance our understanding of market fundamentals, new data sources and techniques, and the complexities of portfolio management on behalf of our clients.
  • Our systematic investment approach removes personal biases and uncovers blind spots. The process is disciplined and repeatable over time.
  • Embedded risk management within our investment process fosters strong risk-adjusted performance outcomes and well-diversified client portfolios.
  • Based in Asia, we have honed our skill in some of the most inefficient and diverse markets. The team’s constant attention to detail while working with raw and “dirty” data to extract investment signals is key in this region and carries over into all other regions in which we invest.

Team

  • Highly experienced and stable team with a long history of technology-driven, quantitative investing.
  • Team includes experienced quant developers, who collaborate on building and managing the data and technology platform to support the investment and research activities of the team.
Chief Investment Officer

Benjamin Dunn (Ben) joined Eastspring Investments, the Asian asset management business of Prudential plc, in June 2014.


Ben is Chief Investment Officer of Quantitative Strategies, the group responsible for managing our quantitative investment solutions.


Prior to joining Eastspring Investments, Ben had been a Quantitative Equity Portfolio Manager at Ankura Capital (a BNY Mellon subsidiary) for over 10 years managing both Australian and Japanese portfolios. He had also previously held various roles spanning quantitative research, equity trading and software engineering at Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC) and Queensland Treasury Corporation (QTC). Ben has more than 22 years of financial industry experience.


Ben is a CFA charter holder and holds a Bachelors degree in Information Technology.

Investment Director

Kenneth Tan joined Eastspring Investments, the Asian asset management business of Prudential plc, in August 2015.


Kenneth is the Investment Director heading the Quantitative Equity Strategies team. He is involved in designing, implementing and managing systematic funds and research and development of systematic alpha and smart beta investment strategies.


Prior to joining Eastspring Investments, Kenneth was the Head of Asia Quantitative Research with UBS Investment Bank, Hong Kong, responsible for research and advisory on various aspects of the investment process including factor and style research, systematic investment strategies, portfolio construction and risk management. He led his team to second place for quantitative analysis in Asiamoney investor poll, and has individually ranked among the top five quantitative analysts in Asia by Asiamoney. Prior to that, Kenneth was a quantitative strategist with Morgan Stanley, London, and an investment officer at GIC. He has 20 years of financial industry experience.


Kenneth holds a MSc. in Mathematics and Finance from Imperial College London and a BSc.(Honours) in Actuarial Science from The London School of Economics and Political Science.

Portfolio Manager

Jie Lu joined Eastspring Investments, the Asian asset management business of Prudential plc, as Portfolio Manager, in April 2017.


He is part of the Quantitative Equity Strategies (QES) team and is responsible for the Research and Development and management of QES strategies and funds.


Prior to joining Eastspring Investments, Jie was a Portfolio Manager and Senior Vice President at Acadian Asset Management in Boston, where he worked for over 10 years. He has extensive experience in stock selection factor research for global equity markets as well as systematic country and industry allocation strategies. Jie helped design Acadian's factor backtesting framework and was a member of their investment policy committee overseeing changes to their investment models. In all, Jie has 13 years of investment industry experience.


Jie holds a PhD in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Financial Technology Option from the MIT Sloan School of Management. Jie also holds a MSc and BSc in Physics from Tsinghua University. He is a CFA charterholder.

Portfolio Manager

Chris joined Eastspring Investments in February 2016 and has more than 18 years of industry experience.


Chris is a member of the Quantitative Equity Strategies (QES) team and is a portfolio manager for QES investment products. He also participates in designing and implementing systematic equity funds and undertakes research and development of systematic alpha and smart beta investment strategies.


Prior to joining Eastspring Investments, he worked with UBS Global Asset Management (London & Zurich) for 7 years as a Quantitative Analyst, where he managed multi-region portfolios of equity products, and provided data support for the team.


Prior to that, he was at Credit Suisse Asset Management in London for 2 years, also working in a quantitative investment strategies team.


Chris holds a PhD in Biochemistry and a BSc.(Honours) from Imperial College of Science Technology and Medicine, London and a MSc.(Distinction) from Kings College, London He is also a CFA charterholder.

Portfolio Manager

Nick Wang joined Eastspring Investments, the Asian asset management business of Prudential plc, in December 2017.


Nick is part of the Quantitative Equity Strategies (QES) team and is responsible in the research and development of QES processes, infrastructure and strategies, especially in investment process design, portfolio construction and risk/return attribution and management.


Prior to joining Eastspring Investments, Nick worked at Acadian Asset Management in Boston for 13 years in a variety of roles including Principal Software Engineer and Senior Quantitative Analyst, and was responsible for designing and supporting key elements of their investment process. Before that, Nick worked at Massachusetts Financial Services as a Quantitative Analyst in their Quantitative Research Group. In all, Nick has a total of 22 years of related industry experience.


Nick was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics in the University of Bridgeport Connecticut, and holds a PhD in Mathematics from the University of Connecticut and a BSc in Mathematics and Statistics from Beijing University.

Client Portfolio Manager

Sarah Lien joined Eastspring Investments, the Asian asset management business of Prudential plc, as Client Portfolio Manager in June 2016.


Sarah is an integrated member of the investment team, acting as the principal conduit to clients, prospects and media with regards to the Asia Equity Income, Asia Listed Real Estate and Quantitative Investment Strategies. She represents the investment team in communicating investment philosophy, portfolio positioning, performance, financial market updates and the teams’ investment outlook. Sarah is also responsible for supporting sales and marketing to develop content and articulate the respective portfolio strategies to both institutional and retail audiences.


Prior to joining Eastspring Investments, Sarah was a Senior Research Analyst at Russell Investments where she worked in Seattle, London and most recently in Singapore covering Asian, Emerging and Global equity markets. Prior to working at Russell Investments, Sarah was part of the business development and client relationship team at Fisher Francis Trees & Watts (FFTW), part of BNP Paribas Investment Partners, in New York. Sarah has 18 years of financial industry experience.


Sarah holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business and a Bachelor of Sciences, Economics from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Investment Philosophy

  • Entrenched investor behaviors and the structure and dynamics of markets give rise to persistent and exploitable market inefficiencies.
  • A systematic investment approach based on factors is the most effective way to capture value from those inefficiencies.
  • Markets are dynamic and continual innovation is necessary to maintain strategy performance.

Investment Process

  • The strategy seeks to have a lower-than-market beta profile and is designed to provide downside protection in negative equity markets, while also participating in up markets.
  • We aim to achieve low volatility at the portfolio level, rather than to simply own the lowest volatility stocks. This affords us a broader investment universe and helps achieve better portfolio diversification.
  • We improve the portfolio’s characteristics and return profile by screening out the most expensive stocks and those with poor analyst sentiment from our investible universe by using a systematic and quantitative approach to portfolio construction (optimisation).
  • We systematically construct robust, diversified portfolios taking into account the volatility and correlations across stocks, as well as transaction costs. The team continually monitors portfolio, performance and risk exposures to maintain the integrity of the investment process.
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ESG

We believe that the quality of corporate governance practices, and how companies manage the environmental and social aspects of their operations, can be material to delivering superior longer-term shareholder value. In acknowledging the importance of ESG issues and given that they may not have been a central focus in financial markets historically, we are committed to making the assessment of ESG factors an explicit part of our research process and have established a dedicated research stream for ESG. Specifically, this research stream is designed to focus on several aspects relating to ESG:

  • Attempting to identify and validate ESG alpha factors that improve the returns of our strategies
  • Attempting to identify and validate ESG risk factors that improve the risk of our strategies
  • Exploring potential ESG-focused products using existing strategies we manage
  • Ongoing search for new ESG and alternative datasets that may aid the above research

The team also employs a proxy voting policy to add value and protect clients’ interests as stakeholders. We believe that quantitative portfolio managers should dedicate their time and effort to managing portfolios and conducting investment strategy research, rather than conducting research in connection with the voting of proxies. As such, an independent third party, Institutional Shareholder Services, has been engaged to provide research and recommendations for when to vote against resolutions.