Maple-Brown Abbott launches GEM fund

MSCI emerging markets Maple-Brown Abbott Sophia Rahmani

22 March 2023
| By Laura Dew |
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Maple-Brown Abbott has launched a global emerging market equity fund.

The fund would be managed by John Moorhead and would invest in listed companies across global emerging and frontier markets. It would provide exposure to a concentrated portfolio (30-40 stocks) that were most likely to benefit from cyclical and structural changes in those markets. 

It aimed to outperform the MSCI Emerging Markets Net Index (AUD), after fees, over a five-year period and was aimed at investors who were seeking capital growth with an investment horizon of at least five years and had a very high risk tolerance.

Moorhead joined the firm in October 2021 as head of global emerging markets after 13 years as head of emerging market equities at Pictet Asset Management. 

He said: “By placing change at the core of our philosophy, we seek to better identify and understand these shifts and how they will play out over our multi-year investment horizon. We believe the ideas capable of having the biggest impact are found at the intersection of our focus on change, our bottom-up, in-house industry research and our proprietary screen.
 
“When looking at companies likely to benefit from cyclical and structural change, we believe it is important to focus on sustainable returns. For us, this means understanding that the long-term return potential is impacted by the business practices of management teams and owners, including their relationships with all their stakeholders, such as employees, customers, suppliers and local communities.”

Maple-Brown Abbott chief executive, Sophia Rahmani, said emerging markets appeared to be offering compelling investment opportunities in some of the world’s fastest-growing companies currently. 
 
“In our view, a diversified investment portfolio benefits from an allocation to global emerging markets. Emerging market companies provide investors with a unique opportunity to access long-term trends including growing middle-class consumption, evolving demographics and the energy transition. 

“Given the wide range in companies, valuations and macroeconomic factors, we believe that active management (that is, active stock picking) is crucial when investing in global emerging markets.”

The firm already ran a range of global, Australian and Asian equity funds and had $10 billion in assets under management.

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