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Ashmore poised for UK retail market

Ashmore Investment Management is understood to be preparing a push into the UK retail market.

The firm confirmed that it has appointed a head of UK retail distribution, but cannot yet disclose his or her identity.

Christoph Hofmann, the head of global distribution, will also help spearhead the push.

It is likely that Ashmore will make its range of 10 Luxembourg-domiciled funds available to UK retail investors.

Ashmore’s Luxembourg-domiciled Sicav range includes the emerging markets total return, emerging markets debt, emerging markets sovereign investment grade debt, local currency, emerging markets local currency bond, emerging markets local markets currency, emerging markets corporate debt, emerging markets investment grade corporate debt and multi-strategy funds.

It has also recently launched emerging markets investment grade local currency, emerging markets local currency corporate debt and emerging markets inflation linked bond funds.

In addition, Ashmore is likely to extend its investment trust range beyond Ashmore global opportunities. The trust, which is Ashmore’s most prominent product available to retail investors, has delivered negative returns over three years. It is also trading on a substantial discount to the value of its assets.

Jerome Booth, a founder of Ashmore, says the trust has had to wait to receive money from its underlying private equity funds so it can support share buybacks and narrow its discount.

The trust also proposes votes on whether it should continue in its current form to ensure investors reaffirm its long-term approach to investing.

Booth says private equity plays are long term and should be looked at over several years, or the lifetime of the private equity funds in question, rather than just over three years.

Ashmore focuses on several investment themes including external debt, local currency, real estate, corporate debt and equity, as well as special situations, which incorporates distressed debt and private equity.

Last year, it bought EMM Funds, an emerging market equity investor, which it has rebranded Ashmore EMM. Ashmore says it bought EMM because the outlooks of the two firms were similar and says it is not actively planning a programme of acquisitions.

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