On 1 July 2015 First State Stewart restructured its investment team, which looks after the group's Asian and emerging markets equity funds.
The team split to form two new investment divisions - First State Stewart Asia, which is primarily based in Hong Kong; and Stewart Investors, primarily based in Edinburgh. The resultant teams both remain part of First State's global asset management business.
What is the reason for the change?
In recent years, First State Stewart has continued to grow in size. Their success has led to significant growth in the assets they manage and, in some cases, they have taken steps to limit inflows into their funds in order to protect existing investors. This also means the number of team members has increased over the years to ensure the amount of research and analysis required is not compromised.
As such First State views the separation as a natural progression. It will allow both teams to operate as smaller, flexible investment groups, which they feel is critical to their success in managing the portfolios.
What does this mean for investors?
There has been no change to the philosophy or process adopted by the teams, or to the lead managers running the funds. Existing investors should not, therefore, see any significant changes to their funds as a result of the team split.
From 2 November 2015, however, the funds managed by the Stewart Investors team will be renamed as follows:
|Fund name changes|
|Fund name||New fund name|
|First State Asia Pacific||Stewart Investors Asia Pacific|
|First State Asia Pacific Leaders||Stewart Investors Asia Pacific Leaders|
|First State Sustainability||Stewart Investors Asia Pacific Sustainability|
|First State Global Emerging Markets||Stewart Investors Global Emerging Markets|
|First State Global Emerging Markets Leaders||Stewart Investors Global Emerging Markets Leaders|
|First State Global Asia Emerging Markets Sustainability||Stewart Investors Global Emerging Markets Sustainability|
|First State Indian Subcontinent||Stewart Investors Indian Subcontinent|
|First State Latin America||Stewart Investors Latin America|
|First State Worldwide Equity||Stewart Investors Worldwide Equity|
|First State Worldwide Leaders||Stewart Investors Worldwide Leaders|
|First State Worldwide Sustainability||Stewart Investors Worldwide Sustainability|
In recent months we have met several senior individuals from First State to discuss the team restructure in detail. We are comfortable the decision to split the teams has not been taken lightly, or quickly, and that both teams are incentivised to remain focused on delivering good performance for their investors in the future. That said, we will continue to monitor how the teams and funds progress.
We continue to hold the Asia and emerging markets teams at First State in high regard, and we have confidence in their ability to outperform their respective markets over the long term. We do not feel any changes need to be made to existing portfolios, providing investors' objectives continue to be met.