William Blair Macro Allocation Strategy

The William Blair Macro Allocation strategy seeks to capitalize on global opportunities through active management across asset classes, geographies, currencies, and risk themes.

Why William Blair Macro Allocation Strategy?

  • Actively manages macro risks: historically, more than 90% of portfolio return variation has been attributable to top-down (macro) allocation decisions1
  • Is designed to take advantage of global opportunities: global interconnectedness has increased the pace at which macroeconomic and political factors affect investment results
  • Seeks to capitalize on fundamental value/price dislocations in global markets and currencies through dynamic risk capital allocation
  • Complements traditional portfolio allocations by using a global, diversified, and dynamic top-down approach

Investment Philosophy

  • Markets are macro-inefficient.
  • Longer-term, fundamental valuation opportunities are well-compensated.2
  • The present value of future cash flows and relative purchasing power parity determines value
  • Value/price discrepancies reveal investment opportunities.
  • Dynamic risk-capital allocation is superior to traditional asset allocation.
  • Top-down (macro) capabilities added to a portfolio can improve efficiency through return enhancement and risk mitigation.

Key Structural Guidelines

  • Average beta: 0.3 to 0.4
  • Long-term average risk: between fixed income and equities

1 Source: Determinants of Portfolio Performance II: An Update. Brinson, Gary P.; Singer, Brian D.; Beebower, Gilbert L. Financial Analysts Journal; May/Jun 1991; 47, 3; ABI/INFORM Global pg. 40.

2 The team defines long-term opportunities as having a 5- to 10-year horizon. 

Sep Account Mutual Fund SICAV CIT
  • Investment Process          detail

    The team uses a three-stage investment process that corresponds with the team’s investment philosophy and helps answer three key questions: Where? Why? How?

International Equity Sep Account Mutual Fund SICAV CIT
  • Management          detail

    Brian SingerBrian D. Singer, CFA, Partner

    Brian Singer is the head of the Dynamic Allocation Strategies (DAS) team, on which he also serves as a portfolio manager. In this role, Brian shares with Thomas Clarke ultimate responsibility for strategy setting and portfolio construction across all DAS portfolios. Before joining William Blair in 2011, Brian was the head of investment strategies at Singer Partners, LLC. Before that, Brian was the head of Global Investment Solutions and the Americas chief investment officer for UBS Global Asset Management, where he was a member of the UBS Group managing board and global asset management executive committee. Brian is extensively involved with the CFA Institute. He is a member of the CFA Society of Chicago and a member of the CFA Institute Research Foundation Board of Regents, and in 2015 he received the CFA Institute’s Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes CFA members who have made a significant contribution to the CFA Institute through their leadership, exceptional stewardship, and outstanding service. He formerly served as a board member and chair of the CFA Institute board of governors. Brian has written extensively on global portfolio, currency, and performance issues and co‐wrote the seminal Determinants of Portfolio Performance II: An Update with Gary Brinson and Gilbert Beebower. In 2009 Brian was the lead author of Investment Leadership and Portfolio Management, Wiley Publishing. In 2015, Brian was inducted into the Performance and Risk Management Hall of Fame by The Spaulding Group. Brian serves on the endowment investment committee for Exeter College at Oxford University; he is chairman of the “Free to Choose Network,” which is inspired by the ideas of economist Milton Friedman; and he serves as a member of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago Foundation’s board. Education: B.A., economics, Northwestern University; MBA, University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.

    Clark_Tom-landThomas Clarke, Partner

    Thomas Clarke is a portfolio manager on the Dynamic Allocation Strategies (DAS) team. In this role, Tom shares, with Brian Singer, ultimate responsibility for strategy setting and portfolio construction across all DAS portfolios. Before joining William Blair in 2011, Tom was a member of Singer Partners’ investment team with a special focus on currency strategy. Until 2009, Tom was a managing director and head of currency analysis and strategy for the global investment solutions team of UBS Global Asset Management. There, he set currency strategies for multiasset, global and international equity, and fixed-income portfolios, and developed and oversaw the currency analysis process. Tom was also a member of the global asset allocation and currency committees and the U.K. investment committee. Before joining UBS in 2000, Tom was head of currency for Rothschild Asset Management, where he spent 10 years as part of the fixed-income and currency group. Education: B.Sc., University of Manchester.

Sep Account Mutual Fund SICAV CIT
  • Disclosure          detail

    This material is provided by William Blair for informational purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Any investment or strategy mentioned herein may not be suitable for every investor. Information and opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and may not reflect the opinions of other investment teams within William Blair. Information is current as of the date appearing in this material only and subject to change without notice.

    The strategy involves a high level of risk and may not be appropriate for everyone. You could lose money by investing in the strategy. There can be no assurance that the strategy’s investment objective will be achieved. The strategy holds equity exposures, which may decline in value due to both real and perceived general market, economic, and industry conditions. Investing in bond markets is subject to certain risks including market, interest-rate, issuer, credit, and inflation risk; investments may be worth more or less than the original cost when redeemed. Derivatives may involve certain costs and risks such as liquidity, interest rate, market, credit, management and the risk that a position could not be closed when most advantageous. Investing in derivatives could lose more than the amount invested. Investment return, principal value, and yields of an investment will fluctuate so that an investor’s shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Investments are subject to a number of types of risk, including counterparty and contractual default risk. For a more detailed explanation and discussion of these and other risks, please refer to William Blair's Form ADV or applicable offering documents. The strategy is designed for long-term investors.