Liquid Real Assets Strategy

Liquid Real Assets Strategy

Liquid Real Assets Strategy


The Morgan Stanley Liquid Real Assets Strategy seeks total return, targeted to be in excess of inflation, through capital appreciation and current income. Investments primarily include global listed real estate and infrastructure securities, inflation sensitive equities, inflation-linked fixed income securities and commodity-linked investments.1

Investment Approach

The investment team believes that investing in a diversified, actively managed portfolio of liquid real assets can provide investors with a measure of protection against rising inflation, help lower the overall volatility of their investment programs, and provide an efficient means to manage cash flows associated with commitments to illiquid real asset funds.

By combining bottom-up security selection by asset class specialists, macroeconomic analysis and expertise in tactical and strategic asset allocation, the team believes that they have the potential to capture attractive relative value opportunities and respond effectively to changes in the macroeconomic climate or expected asset class performance.

Cross-Platform Skills And Expertise

The strategy harnesses the collective investing acumen of representatives from MSIM’s Global Listed Real Assets team, Fixed Income team, Global Multi-Asset team and Portfolio Solutions Group.

In aggregate these teams manage over $120 billion in assets2 and have deep expertise across individual liquid real assets classes, in macroeconomic analysis and with strategic and tactical asset allocation through economic cycles.

Diversified Exposure To Drive Real Returns

Investors gain exposure to a diversified set of investment strategies that may help to defend against rising inflation, including listed real estate and infrastructure securities, inflation-linked fixed income securities, inflation sensitive equities and commodity-linked investments.

Active/Dynamic Management Approach

The strategy seeks to outperform equity investments on a total return basis while providing attractive inflation protection benefits.

Efficient Liquidity Management Solutions

The strategy may serve as an efficient means for investors with sizable commitments to illiquid private real asset strategies to gain immediate exposure to the asset classes and manage the associated cash flows.

Investment Process
Bottom-up security selection combined with asset allocation overlay, dynamically managed based on tactical shorter-term views

The strategy’s investment team actively manages the Strategy using a combination of top-down and bottom-up methodologies. When making allocation decisions, the team conducts quantitative and qualitative analysis, aiming to optimize the balance between return potential and risk across the publicly-traded real asset categories.

Portfolio Managers  
Laurel Durkay
Head of Global Listed Real Assets
21 years industry experience
Matthew King
Managing Director
22 years industry experience
Ryan Meredith
Head of Portfolio Solutions Group
24 years industry experience
Christian Roth
Managing Director
35 years industry experience
Mark Bavoso
Managing Director
39 years industry experience

1 Investment securities may include publicly-traded real estate (REITs and REOCs), publicly-traded infrastructure companies, equities, including natural resource related equities, commodity-linked investments (including exposure to precious metals), MLPs, TIPS and other fixed income securities.

2 As of December 31, 2017. Aggregated assets under management of Global Listed Real Assets, Global Fixed Income, Portofolio Solutions Group and Global Multi-Asset.

Risk Considerations

Diversification does not protect you against a loss in a particular market; however it allows you to spread that risk across various asset classes.

Investments selected using proprietary quantitative models may perform differently than expected and technical issues in the construction and implementation of the models may occur. If the data used by the models proves to be incorrect or incomplete, the Portfolio may suffer losses.

There is no assurance that an investment strategy will achieve its investment objective. Portfolios are subject to market risk, which is the possibility that the market values of securities owned by the Portfolio will decline and may therefore be less than what you paid for them. Market values can change daily due to economic and other events (e.g. natural disasters, health crises, terrorism, conflicts and social unrest) that affect markets, countries, companies or governments. It is difficult to predict the timing, duration, and potential adverse effects (e.g. portfolio liquidity) of events. Accordingly, you can lose money investing in this Portfolio. Please be aware that this Portfolio may be subject to certain additional risks. In general, equities securities’ values also fluctuate in response to activities specific to a company. Investments in foreign markets entail special risks such as currency, political, economic, market and liquidity risks. The risks of investing in emerging market countries are greater than risks associated with investments in foreign developed countries. Companies within the infrastructure industry are subject to a variety of factors that may adversely affect their business or operations, including high interest, leverage and regulatory costs, difficulty raising capital, the effect of an economic slowdown or recession and surplus capacity, and increased competition. Other risks include technological innovation, significant changes in the number of end-users, an increasing deregulatory environment, natural and environmental risks, and terrorist attacks. Stocks of small- and medium-capitalization companies entail special risks, such as limited product lines, markets and financial resources, and greater market volatility than securities of larger, more established companies. Real estate investments, including real estate investment trusts (REITs), are subject to risks similar to those associated with the direct ownership of real estate and they are sensitive to such factors as management skills and changes in tax laws. The risks of owning real estate directly as well as the way Real Estate Operating Companies (REOCs) are organized and operated will affect the Portfolio. They require specialized management skills, causing a Portfolio to indirectly bear the costs of such skills. In addition, foreign real estate companies may be subject to the laws, rules and regulations governing those entities and their failure to comply with those laws, rules and regulations could negatively impact the performance of those entities. Trading in, and investment exposure to, the commodities markets may involve substantial risks and subject the Portfolio to greater volatility. Natural Resources. Investments in securities of natural resources companies may be affected by a variety of factors, including global political and economic developments, natural disasters in major natural resource areas, fluctuations in demand caused by, among other things, rising interest rates, general economic conditions and energy conservation efforts. Individual Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs) are publically traded partnerships that have unique risks related to their structure. These include, but are not limited to, their reliance on the capital markets to fund growth, adverse ruling on the current tax treatment of distributions (typically mostly tax deferred), and commodity volume risk. The potential tax benefits from investing in MLPs depend on their being treated as partnerships for federal income tax purposes and, if the MLP is deemed to be a corporation, then its income would be subject to federal taxation at the entity level, reducing the amount of cash available for distribution to the fund which could result in a reduction of the fund’s value. MLPs carry interest rate risk and may underperform in a rising interest rate environment. Exchange traded funds (ETFs) shares have many of the same risks as direct investments in common stocks or bonds and their market value will fluctuate as the value of the underlying index does. By investing in exchange traded funds (ETFs), the portfolio absorbs both its own expenses and those of the ETFs it invests in. Supply and demand for ETFs may not be correlated to that of the underlying securities. When investing in value securities, the market may not have the same value assessment as the manager, and, therefore, the performance of the securities may decline. The Fund’s allocations to the various underlying and independently managed investment strategies may cause the Fund to underperform a particular individual strategy or other funds, including those with a similar investment objective. It is possible that Fund assets could be allocated to underlying and independently managed investment strategies that perform poorly or underperform other investments under various market conditions. Fixed-income securities are subject to the ability of an issuer to make timely principal and interest payments (credit risk), changes in interest rates (interest-rate risk), the creditworthiness of the issuer and general market liquidity (market risk). In the current rising interest-rate environment, bond prices may fall and may result in periods of volatility and increased portfolio redemptions. Longer-term securities may be more sensitive to interest rate changes. In a declining interest-rate environment, the portfolio may generate less income. Derivative instruments can be illiquid, may disproportionately increase losses and may have a potentially large negative impact on the portfolio’s performance. Illiquid securities may be more difficult to sell and value than publicly traded securities (liquidity risk).

This communication is only intended for and will be only distributed to persons resident in jurisdictions where such distribution or availability would not be contrary to local laws or regulations.

There is no guarantee that any investment strategy will work under all market conditions, and each investor should evaluate their ability to invest for the long-term, especially during periods of downturn in the market. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

A separately managed account may not be appropriate for all investors. Separate accounts managed according to the Strategy include a number of securities and will not necessarily track the performance of any index. Please consider the investment objectives, risks and fees of the Strategy carefully before investing. A minimum asset level is required. For important information about the investment manager, please refer to Form ADV Part 2.

This material is a general communication, which is not impartial and has been prepared solely for informational and educational purposes and does not constitute an offer or a recommendation to buy or sell any particular security or to adopt any specific investment strategy. All investments involve risks, including the possible loss of principal. The information herein has not been based on a consideration of any individual investor circumstances and is not investment advice, nor should it be construed in any way as tax, accounting, legal or regulatory advice. To that end, investors should seek independent legal and financial advice, including advice as to tax consequences, before making any investment decision.

Any views and opinions provided are those of the portfolio management team and are subject to change at any time due to market or economic conditions and may not necessarily come to pass. Furthermore, the views will not be updated or otherwise revised to reflect information that subsequently becomes available or circumstances existing, or changes occurring. The views expressed do not reflect the opinions of all portfolio managers at Morgan Stanley Investment Management (MSIM) or the views of the firm as a whole, and may not be reflected in all the strategies and products that the Firm offers.

Any weights and/or holdings referenced herein represent typical ranges and are not a maximum number. The portfolio may exceed this from time to time due to market conditions and outstanding trades.


Weighted average market capitalization is a stock market index weighted by the market capitalization of each stock in the index.

A Real interest rate is an interest rate that has been adjusted to remove the effects of inflation.

Commodity futures are contracts to buy or sell a commodity at a specific date in the future at a specific price.

Volatility is a statistical measure of the dispersion of returns for a given security or market index.

U.S. Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) are the inflation-indexed bonds issued by the U.S. Treasury.

A Master Limited Partnership (MLP) is a limited partnership that is publicly traded, also known as a publicly traded partnership. It combines the tax benefits of a limited partnership with the liquidity of publicly traded securities.


The indexes are unmanaged and do not include any expenses, fees or sales charges. It is not possible to invest directly in an index. Any index referred to herein is the intellectual property (including registered trademarks) of the applicable licensor. Any product based on an index is in no way sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by the applicable licensor and it shall not have any liability with respect thereto.

The MSCI World Index is a free float adjusted market-capitalization-weighted index that is designed to measure the global equity market performance of developed markets. The term “free float” represents the portion of shares outstanding that are deemed to be available for purchase in the public equity markets by investors. The performance of the indices is listed in U.S. dollars and assumes reinvestment of net dividends.

The Dow Jones Brookfield Global Infrastructure IndexSM is a free float-adjusted market capitalization weighted index that measures the stock performance of companies that exhibit strong infrastructure characteristics. The Index intends to measure all sectors of the infrastructure market.

The FTSE EPRA/NAREIT Developed Index is a global market capitalization weighted index composed of listed real estate securities in the North American, European and Asian real estate markets.

The Bloomberg Global Inflation-Linked Total Return Index Hedged USD measures the performance of investment-grade, government inflation-linked debt from 12 different developed market countries. Investability is a key criterion for inclusion of markets in this index, and it is designed to include only those markets in which a global government linker fund is likely and able to invest.

“Bloomberg®” and the Bloomberg Index/Indices used are service marks of Bloomberg Finance L.P. and its affiliates, and have been licensed for use for certain purposes by Morgan Stanley Investment Management (MSIM). Bloomberg is not affiliated with MSIM, does not approve, endorse, review, or recommend any product, and. does not guarantee the timeliness, accurateness, or completeness of any data or information relating to any product.

The information presented represents how the portfolio management team generally implements its investment process under normal market conditions.

Morgan Stanley Investment Management is the asset management division of Morgan Stanley.


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