“It’s almost too difficult for an active [bond] manager to make up for his costs,” says De Kleer.
Generally, the Dutch fund selector takes an open approach to index-based investing. “We are agnostic about investing in passive or active funds. If we have enough confidence in the ability of a manager to outperform the index, we’ll go with him.”
In the riskier, and less liquid high yield bond space he prefers to invest in active managers, for example. “In high yield bonds, we only have active managers. I haven’t yet seen a good passive manager in this asset class. It’s very hard to find a passive investment which does not lose a lot against the index if you have to pay up for a bid-ask spread and all these other costs associated with investing.”
In part two of the interview, Marcel explains why he believes not all bonds are actually unattractive at the moment.