CLT-The 'Preferred" Asset Class
The ‘Preferred’ Asset Class
While preferred securities have been around since the 16th century in Europe and the 1850’s in the United States, they often remain overlooked as an asset class. Often grouped into one category, preferreds come in several different varieties, generally depending on how they are listed on a company’s balance sheet; the variety has significant impact on whether a coupon payment is classified as an interest payment (and therefore an obligation), or as a discretionary dividend. Furthermore, preferred securities can differ by their face value – usually either $25 par or $1000 par, by how they are traded – over the counter or exchange traded, and by their coupon structure – fixed-for-life, floating rate, or fixed-to-floating rate.
In today’s market environment, preferreds offer many benefits and attractive features, including:
• Appealing relative and absolute yields, and the potential for favorable tax treatment
• Access to the improving fundamentals of the financial sector
• Strong technicals as the result of a desirable supply / demand imbalance
• Potential to generate alpha due to inefficiencies in the asset class
• Ability to mitigate interest rate risk
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Speaker Bio: Craig A. Sullivan, CFA, CAIA®
Craig is the Director of Fixed Income at Franklin Street Partners. In his role, Craig is responsible for the portfolio management of the firm’s internally managed core, opportunistic credit and preferred securities strategies. Craig is also a member of the firm’s Investment Committee. Prior to joining Franklin Street Partners in 2012, he spent six years working as a portfolio manager at Merrill Lynch in the Global Private Client Group. Craig is a graduate of North Carolina State University and holds both the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA®) designations.