2013 Lipper Awards
The opportunities in fixed income clearly after a 30-year back-- or 30-year rally in rates. It's kind of difficult to see fixed income providing you substantial amount of returns. However, fixed income still has a very solid rule in a person's portfolio because it still provides some level of protection and more importantly some level of income, so I think that's really the right way to think of our fixed income. And in that context, the preponderance of our assets that Oppenheimer are in credit assets in fixed income. And credit as an asset class in that environment where rates rise because the economy is doing better presumably will do better than government bonds and safe assets and fixed income. So we think our relative performance even in that environment would probably be better. And the best example that I can give you about that is our Muni franchise which will do very well or will do reasonable well in that environment because spreads were tighten. In addition, senior floating rates strategy which invest in loans which our benchmarked off of [unk] ought to perform very well in that environment as well. For any fixed income strategy because the level of incomes and level of performance is modest relative to equities where he can have a 2-bagger or 3-bagger. One of the most important things that you have to make sure is you're going to dig yourself too bigger hole and that's what risk control is all about. Our experiences that risk control add a centralized level as opposed to a team level. We can do a much better job because we can analyze risks within a portfolio and compare those risks to other risks that we are taking in other parts of Oppenheimer and other strategies and kind of look at risk holistically. And that gives us insights as to what are the views that are getting embedded in people's portfolios. What are the stress scenarios and making sure that we use those stress scenarios and kind of test all our portfolios versus the stress scenarios gives us insights as to how are various strategies are going to perform in different environment. As far as credit rating and credit rating agencies are concerned, I think they do a reasonably good job of corporate credit rating. I ought to give them credit for that. And they have done a terrible job of analyzing structured credit. So we clearly do credit analysis for all aspects of our portfolio whether the structured credit risk of-- or whether it is corporate risk. But-- and the level of analysis that we do is much more sophisticated than just looking at the ratings that have been assigned by the rating agencies. We may stressed a particular credit or a particular structured credit to see how well they perform on this various stress scenarios and evaluate the performance of that particular security and see how that would fit into portfolio. So, you know, for the most part, the take-- the rating agencies rating as a given. However, we don't rely on it as a big driver for our portfolio construction process. We come up with our own assessment of the credit and embed that credit in the portfolio if we like it that particular level.
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