Barry Allan: The Current State of Fixed Income

Barry Allan has returned to the credit and fixed income management fray. In the midst of what looks to be one of the most highly transitory periods in markets, he is back with his new firm, DMAT Capital Management, founded in 2019, and a new mission altogether, and will sub-advise two mandates at Horizons ETFs.

Allan has distinguished himself over nearly 4 decades as a fixed income portfolio manager and as founder of Marret Investment Management, which he started in 2001. At the time of his departure in 2019, Marret had $4.4-billion in assets under management.

In this first segment, Barry Allan talks about his beginnings in bond and credit markets.

In this second segment, Barry Allan reflects on the current state of fixed income markets.

"I think that the investment world has changed dramatically over the last 20 to 30 years, primarily driven by the decline in interest
rates. This is the major driver of the changes, and I think there’s also been changes in the volatility characteristics of the market," says Allan. "I’ve come to the conclusion that you need to be much more flexible and tactical in your investment approach, than the kind of buy and hold scenario of passive management. I think those days of being rewarded for that, and they were some very good days, I think have generally passed."

"It's truly unique. Governments yield zero. Equity markets are at record highs. Multiples are at elevated levels, and even further, credit spreads are record low levels. It used to be in the fixed income markets, yield was your friend. If you bought something that at an 8% yield, as long as the company didn't default, it didn't matter if the market went up or down, or interest rates went up or down, or sideways; if you held it to maturity, you got that 8%," says Allan. "In today's world there is no yield, therefore, risk and volatility are going to be higher than anything you've experienced in the last 20-30 years and you simply have to accept that."

Allan lays out a tactical framework of what investors will have to do to succeed in the period ahead.

Stay tuned – Tomorrow: Barry Allan on how he's positioning fixed income strategy post-2020.

Horizons Active High Yield Bond ETF (HYI), is now being sub-advised by DMAT Capital Management Inc. DMAT assumed sub-advisory responsibility of HYI as of November 4, 2020.

Horizons Tactical Absolute Return Bond ETF (HARB) is a new ETF, sub-advised by DMAT Capital Management Inc. It will provide an actively managed fixed income strategy with the flexibility to “go anywhere” for tactical investment opportunities, which could be more important now than ever before.


Barry Allan is the President, CEO and CIO of DMAT and has more than 38 years of industry experience running investment mandates across the full spectrum of the fixed income world, including Government bonds, investment-grade bonds, high-yield bonds and distressed bonds. Prior to founding DMAT, Mr. Allan founded Marret Asset Management in 2001, and built it into a full-service asset management firm, which when he left in 2019, had assets under management of more than $4.4 billion. Mr. Allan has also held senior positions with Altamira Management Ltd., where he managed a wide range of global fixed income mandates, and Nesbitt Burns, where he was a proprietary trader, Director, and head of fixed income derivatives.

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