A tactical defence

Convertible arbitrage fund manager, SSI Investment Management, is battening down the hatches preparing for the world economy to worsen before it improves.

From Los Angeles, one of the group's pivotal fund managers ' George Douglas ' is expecting defaults to increase and says he is giving the telecommunications sector a wide berth.

SSI, which has been running market neutral money since 1973, began an account trading convertibles in 1995. It is ranked 29th in terms of performance in Standard & Poor'