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Cutwater - Asset Management

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On 2 January, 2015 Cutwater Asset Management was acquired by BNY Mellon. Cutwater is part of BNY Mellon's $1.6 trillion in assets multi-boutique investment business and is operated by Insight Investment, a leading European asset manager and one of BNY Mellon's premier investment firms.

Key factors that differentiate Cutwater:

  • Focus
    - Exclusive dedication to fixed income investment management for institutional clients
    - Scaled organization with $21 billion in assets under management
  • Team
    - Stable - portfolio management team has an average of over 15 years at Cutwater
    - Diverse - proficiency across all subsectors of the fixed income markets
    - Innovative - extensive history of creating and investing in fixed income products
  • Philosophy
    - Counter-cyclical approach to capital allocation focused on "margin of safety"
    - Long term view of the markets with an appreciation for the full economic cycle
    - Focused on spread sectors of the market that drive consistent alpha
  • Approach
    - Rigorous investment process with dedicated risk management and credit research teams
    - Customized, solutions-based asset management since inception
    - Top-tier client service and reporting

  • Cutwater Asset Management's mission is to fulfill the fixed income market's critical need for innovation, customer service and consistent performance over the long term.
  • Cutwater is led by proven professionals, who offer an informed perspective, unparalleled top level client engagement, innovative solutions and competitive service.
  • Cutwater combines a deeply held ethos of responsibility with agility and vision to perform in the marketplace, partner with a wide range of clients, and deliver consistently competitive investment results.

A "Cutwater" is the stainless steel strap of metal at the bow of a boat; despite waves that slap at the hull, the Cutwater slices through the swirling currents and helps keep the bow pointed toward the ultimate destination. We chose the name to convey some of the guiding principles that define our investment philosophy -- successfully navigating our clients through turbulent waters while focusing on the long-term horizon and maximizing investment performance.

Cutwater's investment philosophy is based on a set of fundamental tenets that define our approach to managing fixed income portfolios. The objective of our investment philosophy is to provide our clients with consistent, top quartile risk-adjusted portfolio performance through market cycles. We believe in:

  • Taking a long-term view of the markets with an appreciation for the full business cycle.
  • Applying a counter-cyclical approach to capital allocation, which is centered on adding risk to the portfolio when the margin of safety is high and de-risking when the margin of safety is low.
  • Focusing on the spread sectors of the market, where the inefficiencies are greatest.
  • A separation of fundamental credit research from relative value analysis
  • Utilizing the entire universe of fixed income instruments, including both index and non-index sectors, to maximize risk-adjusted returns for investors.
  • Risk management as a cultural belief that permeates throughout the firm in all its activities.

Our philosophy, and the investment process that supports it, has been shown over multiple cycles to produce risk-adjusted portfolio returns in excess of relevant benchmarks and peers. The effectiveness of the approach was observable over the most recent market crisis and subsequent recovery. Despite past predictions proclaiming "the cycle has been tamed" we believe cycles are a fact of life, both historically and prospectively. Taking the long view is a core fundamental principal of our approach. The durability of the philosophy relies on the discipline needed to adhere to it. Our discipline of taking the "long view through a cycle" has the potential to generate short periods of underperformance around inflection points in the cycle. We are comfortable with this as we believe it allows us to position investors appropriately for the more meaningful parts of the cycle, away from the inflection points. The success of our philosophy over past cycles gives us confidence that we will be successful navigating cycles in the future.