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Gartmore newcomer takes active approach to portfolio revamp

Gartmore’s head of Asian equities Jan de Bruijn has revamped two funds he took over since joining the firm from Threadneedle in January.

De Bruijn is lead manager of the £104m Pacific Opportunities fund and the £13m Asia Pacific Sicav, which were formerly managed by Mike Gleason using a quantitative strategy.

Since assuming control of the funds, de Bruijn has turned over a significant proportion of holdings and introduced an active management style.
He has also cut the number of stocks from 150 to between 60 and 70.

“China will not outperform all the time, so about 30% of the portfolio will be made up of shorter-term ideas working for this year,” de Bruijn says.

“Mike was running broadly neutral country and sector weightings, but I will take bigger bets,”

He will select stocks that play to Asia’s long-term growth drivers, with themes including changes to demography and economic dependency, global franchises, the growth of services, and infrastructure spending.

He will also look at companies that offer exposure to the burgeoning financial services sector in Asia, and the developing domestic market.

“Ports Design is a handbag manufacturer that is a very famous brand in China.

“It shows that Asians are looking to themselves to create their own brands rather than looking to the West,” de Bruijn says.

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