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JPMorgan Emerging Markets Investment Trust: December 2022 update

In this investment trust update, Lead Investment Analyst Kate Marshall shares our analysis on the manager, process, culture, ESG integration, cost, and performance of the JPMorgan Emerging Markets Investment Trust.

Important notes

This article isn’t personal advice. If you’re not sure whether an investment is right for you please seek advice. If you choose to invest the value of your investment will rise and fall, so you could get back less than you put in.

This article is more than 6 months old

It was correct at the time of publishing. Our views and any references to tax, investment and pension rules may have changed since then.

  • The trust's managers have years of experience investing in emerging markets
  • They also benefit from the research carried out by a large team of portfolio managers and analysts based across the globe
  • A focus on quality companies with sustainable growth prospects provides the potential for long-term growth, though there are no guarantees
  • How it fits in a portfolio

    JPMorgan Emerging Markets Investment Trust provides broad exposure to emerging economies, including China, India, Taiwan, and Brazil. Emerging markets offer lots of opportunity for investors, but they're higher risk and typically more volatile than developed markets. This makes the trust a more adventurous way to try to grow wealth over the long term. It could help diversify a global portfolio focused on long-term growth and sit well next to trusts or funds that mainly invest in developed markets.

    Investors in closed-ended funds should be aware that the trust can trade at a discount or premium to net asset value (NAV).


    Austin Forey manages this trust alongside co-manager John Citron. Forey is an emerging markets stalwart and has managed this trust since 1994. He started his investment career at JPMorgan prior to this in 1988, and has also spent time researching other markets, such as the UK, so he has a broad knowledge of global investment markets. He has spent most of his career focused on emerging markets though.

    In addition to JPMorgan Emerging Markets Investment Trust, Forey runs or contributes to other emerging markets portfolios at JPMorgan, using the same core process throughout. This includes the open-ended JPMorgan Emerging Markets Fund, which he's also managed since 1994. Leon Eidelman was appointed lead manager of the open-ended fund in 2013, and Forey remains a co-manager. The two managers have worked closely for many years.

    Citron was appointed co-manager of this trust in March 2021. He joined JPMorgan in 2009 and has been part of the Emerging Markets Asia Pacific Equities team since 2012. Citron is also named on several other emerging market portfolios and has worked closely with Forey for several years.

    While the managers have plenty of experience investing in emerging markets, they also draw on a well-resourced team for ideas and analysis, who are based in eight countries across the globe. We think this is invaluable given the vast range of countries and companies the team needs to consider, and it also means they've been able to expand their research coverage over time.


    The managers aim for the trust to perform better than the broader emerging stock market by investing in high-quality companies that can sustain earnings growth over the long term. They believe most investors underestimate the potential for share price growth in companies that can grow their earnings at a sustainable pace over a long period of time. This could help them buy company shares at a reasonable price and hold on to them as they grow their profits, and hopefully their share prices, over the long run. The process is considered to be ‘growth’ focused.

    As lead manager, Forey is in charge of how the trust is constructed. He also leans on the wider team of analysts who carry out extensive research and provide new ideas. They typically travel across the region to visit companies and gain insight into what's happening in different economies.

    The team looks for quality companies with the aim of calculating how much a company will grow its earnings over the next five years. They consider the financial strength of a business, the quality of the management team and the decisions it takes, and the level of corporate governance. Other factors, such as the dividends a company pays and how changes in a country's currency might impact a business, are also considered.

    The managers mainly invest in large, established firms, but also invest in some medium-sized companies with greater growth prospects. They also have the flexibility to invest in higher-risk smaller companies, though they have tended not to venture in this area of the market. Although not being used at the current time, the manager does have the flexibility to use gearing (borrowing to invest) which, if used, adds risk.

    The trust is currently mainly focused on three core areas: the technology, financials and consumer sectors. These sectors could benefit from rising incomes and consumption across developing markets. Some of the trust’s biggest investments currently include TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company), Indian financial services bank HDFC Bank, and online marketplace MercadoLibre, which is based in Argentina.

    South Korea’s Samsung Electronics is a relatively new addition to the trust. That said, the managers have reduced investments in two information technology holdings, EPAM and Globant. They have performed well, and their shares no longer look as attractively valued.

    In terms of countries, India and China currently make up the largest part of the trust, at 24.1% and 19.3% respectively. The managers are mindful of increasing risks in China though, such as the influence of the Chinese government on policy that could impact businesses. That said, as the Chinese market is wide and diverse, the team continues to find opportunities in select parts of the market.


    JPMorgan is one of the world's biggest asset managers. It has investment professionals based all over the world, and the team behind this fund can tap into this experience and local knowledge. The group is home to a strong emerging markets offering and the team is stable, with low turnover among senior members.

    Forey has remained loyal to the group and spent his entire investment career at JPMorgan, and we think he is dedicated to the emerging markets group. We view it positively that the managers are incentivised to focus on long-term performance.

    ESG Integration

    JPMorgan committed to integrate ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) factors into their investment processes for active funds in 2016 and ESG is now a foundation for investment decisions across the firm. Fund managers also have access to the central Sustainable Investing team, as well as thematic research and analytics, which focus on climate change and carbon transition.

    The managers of this fund have considered sustainability issues as part of their investment process for many years. They favour companies with strong governance, which could enhance a firm's reputation, and actively engage with businesses to help reinforce positive behaviour. ESG forms a core part of the analysts' research process, including their risk checklist.


    The trust's ongoing annual charge is 0.84%. Investors should refer to the latest annual reports and accounts and Key Investor Information for details of the risks and charging structure.

    If held in a SIPP or ISA, the HL platform fee of 0.45% (capped at £200 for a SIPP and £45 for an ISA) per annum also applies. Our platform fee doesn’t apply if held in a Fund and Share Account.

    As investment trusts trade like shares, both a buy and sell instruction will be subject to the HL share dealing charges within any Hargreaves Lansdown account.


    The trust has performed better than the average trust in the AIC Global Emerging Markets sector since Forey took over in 1994. Over the past decade, the trust has grown 115.22%* in share price terms compared with 66.45% for the sector average. There have been periods when the trust has underperformed though, and this will happen at times in the future too.

    While emerging stock markets have delivered growth over the long term, the past year has been a tough one, partly due to geopolitical and growth concerns in China. The average fund in the sector has lost 3.71% over the year to the end of November 2022, and this trust has fallen further.

    The trust’s quality-growth investment process fell out of favour with investors, and this hurt performance. Businesses that are expected to do better during an economic recovery have performed better since the Covid vaccine announcements in November 2020. This includes materials, industrials, and commodities-related companies. The managers don’t invest as much in this type of company, which has held back returns. In addition, as one of the weakest performing markets so far this year, investments in China have hurt.

    The team believes that wider economic and political pressures have been overwhelming what is happening at an individual company level. Once investors place more emphasis on the success of individual businesses, or a focus on quality returns, the trust has the potential to perform well. The managers continue to focus on companies they expect will grow more sustainably over the long run, including those that could benefit from innovation and consumption growth.

    Annual percentage growth
    Nov 17 – Nov 18 Nov 18 – Nov 19 Nov 19 – Nov 20 Nov 20 – Nov 21 Nov 21 – Nov 22
    JPMorgan Emerging Markets Investment Trust PLC 1.98% 21.59% 23.92% 2.67% -14.01%
    AIC Investment Trust - Global Emerging Markets -6.53% 7.13% -0.27% 13.72% -3.71%

    Past performance is not a guide to the future. Source: *Lipper IM to 30/11/2022.

    FIND OUT MORE ABOUT JPMorgan Emerging Markets Investment Trust PLC INCLUDING CHARGES

    JPMorgan Emerging Markets Investment Trust PLC Key Investor Information

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Important notes

This article isn’t personal advice. If you’re not sure whether an investment is right for you please seek advice. If you choose to invest the value of your investment will rise and fall, so you could get back less than you put in.

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