Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility BNY Mellon Efficient U.S. Fallen Angels Beta Fund - DK - BNY Mellon

Discover the Fallen
Angels Beta Plus Strategy
from Insight*






             Back to Efficient Fixed Income Beta



The Fallen Angels Beta Plus Strategy managed by Insight aims to generate alpha with comparable risk to the benchmark by harvesting structural mispricing in the Fallen Angels market.1 The strategy follows an innovative investment approach designed to access Fallen Angels at minimal cost whilst overweighting attractive issues and avoiding those with unattractive risk-return features or material ESG issues.


1A Fallen Angel corporate bond is one that has started out as a member of the investment grade universe (typically rated BBB) but has dropped down into the high yield universe (typically rated BB).




Fallen Angels offer equity-like returns at bond-like risk

U.S. Fallen Angels have produced the highest return across major market since index inception in 2004. They have consistently outperformed the broad high yield index with lower drawdown and stronger credit quality. Despite this, few dedicated Fallen Angel strategies exist. Those that do must overcome high transaction costs, low dealer inventory and a typically narrow universe to extract returns.



Annualised return vs. risk for major asset classes (Mar 2005 – June 2021)



How does the Strategy seek to tap into this market?

The Fallen Angels Beta Plus Strategy managed by Insight targets the full risk premium of the asset class through a dual focus on alpha capture and value preservation. The starting point is the Bloomberg Barclays US HY Fallen Angel 3% Cap TR Index. A tilt towards recent downgrades is applied in order to capture the historically higher return of this segment. Bonds with undesirable risk-return characteristics are excluded, including those exhibiting rapidly deteriorating fundamentals and older downgrades with long duration. Application of the firm’s proprietary credit model allows over and under-priced securities to be identified and weighted accordingly whilst strict investment parameters limit risk. Sourcing issues are mitigated through Insight’s innovative credit portfolio trading technology, enabling the portfolio to access a large number of bonds in one transaction and at minimal cost. Finally, negative ESG screening is applied to filter out undesirable issuers. The result is a diversified portfolio with a similar level of risk to the benchmark and a higher return target.



Efficient Allocation

Exclude seasoned long spread duration bonds to avoid sub-optimal risk-return trade-off.

Allocate to shorter maturity

Within 24+ month vintage, sell bonds with maturity >=10 years and pro-rata allocate to 1-10 year maturity.

Manage downside risk

Filter for best value securities within set parameters. 

Improve security selection

Apply Insight’s time-tested credit model to underweight expensive bonds and overweight cheap bonds.

Apply strict investment parameters

Hedge duration to index, cap issuer weight at 7% and limit CCC exposure to 10%.

Share Class Hedging Risk: The hedging strategy is used to reduce the impact of exchange rate movements between the share class currency and the base currency. It may not completely achieve this due to factors such as interest rate differentials.

Innovative and cost efficient sourcing of bonds

Circumventing the major hurdles to Fallen Angel investment.

Utilise credit portfolio trading

Leveraging the ETF ecosystem and dealer networks to access diversified bond baskets quickly and cost efficiently.


Fully integrated

Negative screening to filter out undesirable issuers






Insight is a long standing player in the ETF ecosystem with specific skill sets and tools to target these challenges.

Insight was an early pioneer in indexation and has unique talents to deliver Efficient Beta and is solutions-led, responding to client challenges where value can be added back to help achieve the clients’ desired outcomes



Meet the team

Paul Benson

Paul BensonCFA, CAIA

Head of Efficient Beta

Manuel  Hayes

Manuel Hayes

Senior portfolio manager

Stephanie Shu

Stephanie ShuCFA

Senior portfolio manager

Deepak Agrawal

Deepak AgrawalPhD

Head of Quantitative research, Efficient Beta




Fallen Angels outperform because short-term technical selling pressure overrides long-term fundamental value considerations





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CFA® and Chartered Financial Analyst® are registered trademarks owned by CFA Institute.


CAIA® and Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst® are registered trademarks owned by the CAIA Association.


The value of investments can fall. Investors may not get back the amount invested. Income from investments may vary and is not guaranteed.


Changes in interest rates and inflation risk: investments in bonds/money market securities are affected by interest rates and inflation which may negatively affect the value.


Share Class Hedging Risk: The hedging strategy is used to reduce the impact of exchange rate movements between the share class currency and the base currency. It may not completely achieve this due to factors such as interest rate differentials.


Credit Risk: The issuer of a security held by the strategy may not pay income or repay capital to the portfolio when due.


Important information


*Investment Managers are appointed by BNY Mellon Investment Management EMEA Limited (BNYMIM EMEA), BNY Mellon Fund Managers Limited (BNYMFM), BNY Mellon Fund Management (Luxembourg) S.A. (BNY MFML) or affiliated fund operating companies to undertake portfolio management activities in relation to contracts for products and services entered into by clients with BNYMIM EMEA, BNY MFML or the BNY Mellon funds.





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