Angus Tulloch and Jonathan Asante are stepping back from the bulk of fund management duties in a raft of changes announced by Stewart Investors, the Edinburgh-based arm of First State Investments.
As part of Stewart Investors’ succession planning, David Gait and Sashi Reddy will assume control of the £8bn Stewart Investors Asia Pacific Leaders funds from Tulloch. The fund is also set to adopt a sustainability strategy under its new managers.
Following its transition to a sustainability mandate, changes will be made to the portfolio, although the group says most will be made before the handover.
Tulloch’s Asia Pacific fund will be managed by Ashish Swarup, with Tulloch remaining as co-manager.
Asante will relinquish control of the Global Emerging Markets Leaders funds and the Global Emerging Markets fund, which are to be managed by Swarup and Tom Prew. He will also pass on the Stewart Investors Worldwide Leaders funds and the Stewart Investors MPF Global Equity fund to Reddy and the sustainable funds team.
Nick Edgerton will take over the management of Gait’s Worldwide Sustainability funds, although Gait will remain as co-manager and Dominic St George will assume control of Prew’s Latin America fund, with Prew remaining as co-manager.
The changes will take effect over the next eight months and are expected to be completed by 1 July 2016.
Asante, Gait and Prew will continue to manage client money across other Asia Pacific, global emerging markets, worldwide, frontier and sustainability mandates while Tulloch will remain a member of the investment team.
Stewart Investors maintain Tulloch has no intention of retiring imminently.
A spokesperson for Stewart Investors says: “Our priority remains to protect client capital and to deliver attractive long-term investment returns.
“We are very much a team, united by one investment philosophy, in how we research companies and make decisions, but we have been equally committed to providing clarity around individual portfolio responsibility.
“We have no intention of changing that approach, nor of concealing these individual responsibilities behind a faceless committee. Our ambition is to continue to develop talented investors, who will thrive in the particular environment in which we choose to operate. In that regard the business has never been better placed.
First State Investments’ investment team was split to form two new teams in July this year; Stewart Investors in Edinburgh and First State Stewart Asia in Hong Kong.
Following today’s changes FundCalibre is removing the elite rating on the Stewart Investors Global Emerging Market Leaders, Stewart Investors Asia Pacific Leaders and First State Latin America funds.
Darius McDermott, managing director of FundCalibre, says: “This is very unsettling for investors. The teams have only recently been split into two and now we have some substantial changes with some very experienced lead managers now taking a back seat.”
McDermott adds that while the investment style and philosophy of the funds is not expected to change, he remains concerned by the fact that “all managers do things slightly differently”.
“Ashish Swarup has been doing some good work behind the scenes since his arrival from Fidelity and we like the work Tom Prew did with the Latin America fund, but they will have something to prove.
He adds: “We are more comfortable with the change in lead manager on the Asia Pacific Leaders fund. David Gait has an outstanding track record on the Elite Rated Asia Pacific Sustainability fund.
“However, there is a question mark as to whether he can translate the sustainable investment process from what is currently a small and mid-cap fund to an all-cap fund. We will request a meeting with David to talk through this further and may reinstate the rating on the Leaders fund at a later date. For now, however, it must be removed.”