CAMRADATA Emerging Markets Roundtable 2021

In a recent virtual roundtable hosted by CAMRADATA, SECOR’s Anja Needham, CFA, provides insight on the current Emerging Markets environment and considers where opportunities may lie as the world emerges from the pandemic.

For Secor, a global investment advisor, Anja Needham, portfolio manager, said the benchmark universe was the beginning. In selecting managers, however, Secor was sceptical of passive index products for the likes of EM Debt because some issues in the index are not investable and passive products tend to achieve index minus returns. Active managers should be able to achieve better results in this asset class. For one client, Secor has been developing a composite benchmark, including High Yield, EMD and private debt. Needham said that one impetus was the desire to give flexibility to managers who sought opportunities across sectors. Another impetus was that many managers benchmarked against the major sub-indices such as High Yield, had not done well in generating alpha. Secor still looks to these managers to gain beta exposure, but the new composite benchmark was intended to liberate niche alpha generators, recognising that alpha is neither constant or persistent.