Ramirez Asset Management, Inc. (RAM) saw success on several fronts during the 2018 calendar year. A string of new mandates and add-on assets from existing clients contributed to the 16% annual growth rate in firm wide assets.
In 2018, RAM welcomed new public and corporate pension clients, and defined contribution / stable value clients, to expand the firms footprint in each of these sectors. The firms diverse institutional client base currently includes public and private defined benefit and defined contribution plans, Taft-Hartley plans, corporations, state and local governments, as well as foundations and endowments.
Overall firm growth was led by expansions in the firms Core and Intermediate Core (Stable Value) composites. The addition of new clients and add-on funding contributions produced annual composite growth rates of 25% and 65%, respectively. A track record of strong risk-adjusted returns accompanied each of these composites as reflected in their historical eVestment Alliance rankings. As of March 31, 2019, the Core Strategys annualized five-year returns ranked in the top decile (10th percentile) of all managers within the U.S. Core Fixed Income Universe. For the same timeframe, the Intermediate Core (Stable Value) Strategy ranked in the top quartile (25th percentile) of all managers within the U.S. Intermediate Fixed Income Universe.
The Core and Stable Value Fixed Income strategies are flagship products for our firm. They will be engines of continued growth in the defined benefit and defined contribution space. That both products have achieved excellent performance relative to our peers makes us optimistic about continued AUM growth and market penetration, said Sam Ramirez Jr., President and CEO.
The February 28, 2019 issue of Pension & Investments recognized another of RAMs investment composites, the Long Duration Strategy. Highlighting the top-performing separate account managers for 2018, Pensions & Investments listed the Ramirez Long Duration Composites 2.16% one-year gross-of-fees return as the top performing long duration strategy1. This exceeded the benchmark by 686 basis points. RAMs Long Duration Strategy utilizes a strategic allocation to the Taxable Municipal sector, maintains an A+ average credit rating, and targets the duration of the benchmark2.
We believe our clients find this strategy appealing for its track record of matching the yield of industry standard long duration benchmarks while maintaining a defensive duration position and lower historic volatility, said Ramirez. Corporate pension clients, whose long duration assets are typically overexposed to corporate credit, should consider this strategy as an attractive diversification option.
RAMs investment strategies are managed with a singular investment process and philosophy, which incorporates the firms sector allocation and security selection process that has historically resulted in strong risk-adjusted returns. The firm was awarded Fixed Income Emerging Manager of the Year in 2016 and 2017 by Emerging Manager Monthly3 and was a finalist for the 2018 award.
About Ramirez Asset Management
Founded in 2002 and headquartered in New York City, registered investment adviser Ramirez Asset Management (RAM) is affiliated with Samuel A. Ramirez & Co., one of the oldest and best-capitalized minority-owned investment banks in the U.S. and a leader in the fixed income market. With $2.3 billion in assets as of March 31, 2019, RAM is focused on fixed income asset management for a diverse institutional client base, including blue-chip public and private defined benefit and defined contribution plans, Taft Hartley plans, corporations, state and local governments, as well as foundations and endowments.
1 One year net-of-fees return was 1.96%. Reference to 2018 composite rankings was reprinted with permission from Crain Communications, Inc., Copyright 2019 2 Referenced Long Duration benchmark is the Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Long Government / Credit Index. Return vs. benchmark shown is for calendar year 2018; Year-over-year return from Q1 2018 to Q1 2019 exceeded the benchmark by 100 basis points. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns. 3 Details regarding references to the Emerging Manager Monthly Award and the selection criteria can be found at www.ramirezam.com
James F. Haddon
Ramirez Asset Management, Inc.