Emerging market debt

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Emerging market economies have quickly expanded to a point where they collectively contribute more to global growth than developed economies.

At Insight, we have designed a range of emerging market debt (EMD) capabilities that offer investors structural exposure to emerging markets across the full universe with varying degrees of alpha potential. Investors can access the opportunity set according to their risk/return preferences, exploiting attractive beta and alpha opportunities rather than relying on structural beta alone to drive returns, a feature which is typical of traditional benchmark-driven strategies.


The investment opportunity has evolved from a niche asset class to a global opportunity set spanning multiple countries at different stages of the economic and monetary cycle, across a range of sub-asset classes and instruments - including government and corporate debt in local or external currencies, derivatives and foreign exchange markets.

EMD is gradually assuming more importance in investors' asset allocations as returns have generally outpaced those of traditional asset classes over the last decade.1 The breadth and depth of the asset class is sometimes overlooked despite this growth in prominence.

Our strategies

Emerging Market Corporate Debt: we believe the growth of the asset class and the diversity of the opportunity set qualifies emerging market corporate debt as a standalone allocation as well as forming an important component of global fixed income portfolios. Find out more.

Total Return Emerging Market Debt: global, total return EMD strategies that allow greater freedom to allocate tactically, switching exposure between EMD sub-asset classes to assist in identifying attractive beta and alpha opportunities over an investment cycle. Find out more.

Absolute Return Emerging Market Debt: an unconstrained global EMD approach that invests on a 'best ideas' basis. Our strategies seek to capture the most attractive long and short opportunities from across the available investment universe with a focus on downside protection that aims to generate positive returns even when markets are falling. Find out more.

Our team

Insight’s EMD Team has extensive experience in the industry going back to the 90s and the portfolio managers have extensive experience of major events over market cycles.

Our EMD Team employs a singular investment process across external, local and corporate debt, that recognises the interdependency of the sub-asset classes and the impact they can have on investment returns. We believe this approach is far superior to EMD processes that attempt to apply a different method to each sub-class.

We also view emerging market debt in a global context, rather than a standalone asset class, leveraging the resources and capabilities of Insight’s wider global fixed income and credit research teams.

EMD in numbers

  • 116 Fixed income investment professionals globally
  • 17years Average experience of fixed income team
  • £4.4bn emerging market exposure across all portfolios

As at 30 June 2020. Assets under management (AUM) are represented by the value of cash securities and other economic exposure managed for clients.


Corporate profile

Latest webinars and videos

Market updates

Recent thinking

1Source: J.P. Morgan, Global Emerging Markets Research: EM Flows Weekly, 18 October 2018.

Important information

The value of investments and any income from them will fluctuate and is not guaranteed (this may be partly due to exchange rate fluctuations). Investors may not get back the full amount invested. Past performance is not a guide to future performance.

Where the portfolio holds over 35% of its net asset value in securities of one governmental issuer, the value of the portfolio may be profoundly affected if one or more of these issuers fails to meet its obligations or suffers a ratings downgrade.

The issuer of a debt security may not pay income or repay capital to the bondholder when due.

Derivatives may be used to generate returns as well as to reduce costs and/or the overall risk of the portfolio. Using derivatives can involve a higher level of risk. A small movement in the price of an underlying investment may result in a disproportionately large movement in the price of the derivative investment.

Investments in emerging markets can be less liquid and riskier than more developed markets and difficulties in accounting, dealing, settlement and custody may arise.

Where high yield instruments are held, their low credit rating indicates a greater risk of default, which would affect the value of the portfolio.

The investment manager may invest in instruments which can be difficult to sell when markets are stressed.

While efforts will be made to eliminate potential inequalities between shareholders in a pooled fund through the performance fee calculation methodology, there may be occasions where a shareholder may pay a performance fee for which they have not received a commensurate benefit.