|Andrew Roberts, Harvinder Sian
|Royal Bank of Scotland
First-Place Appearances: 1
Total Appearances: 4
Team Debut: 2011
After two consecutive years in second place, the Royal Bank of Scotland crew skippered by Andrew Roberts and Harvinder Sian advances to deliver the firm’s first top finish in this lineup. Six members of the seven-strong team work out of London, and one colleague is based in Stockholm. The overriding global theme for this year, they believe, is the abundant liquidity generated by central banks’ striving to promote inflation. Peripheral euro zone economies will be the principal beneficiaries of this bounty, the strategists say, prompting them to favor Irish, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese bonds in particular. Within the European Economic and Monetary Union area, “five years is the sweet spot,” asserts Roberts, 43. “With curves ultrasteep and forward yields already very high,” he notes, “we cannot plug too bond-bearish a line.” So the strategists favor two- to five-year flattener and five- to 30-year steepener sovereign trades. Swedish bonds are attractive out to five years, they also advise. “We do not think central banks will tolerate any major sell-offs in fixed income because of the dampening effect on growth,” adds Sian. The 41-year-old researcher joined RBS via the firm’s 2007 merger with ABN Amro, where he served as chief EMU strategist. He earned a master’s degree in economics from England’s University of Warwick. Roberts, who holds a master’s degree in economics from Scotland’s University of Edinburgh, was chief European strategist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch before jumping to RBS in 2009. The pair also co-lead a squad that garners a runner-up position in General Strategy.