Fund Manager: Alan Nesbit
Company: First State
First State Investments is the international operation of Colonial First State Global Asset Management (‘CFSGAM’), the specialist asset management business of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. CFSGAM has funds under management of US$159.3 billion as at 30 September 2012.
The Asia Pacific/Global Emerging Markets equities team was rebranded as First State Stewart in early 2012. This autonomous team within First State Investments has been managing Asia Pacific (ex-Japan) equities and Global Emerging Markets equities since 1988 and 1992, respectively. The First State Stewart team is one of the most experienced and stable fund management teams in the industry and includes individuals based in Asia and the UK. The team has funds under management of US$49.6 billion as at 30 September 2012, managing investments on behalf of institutional investors and pension funds, wholesale distributors and platforms, financial advisers and their clients.
The sub-brand of First State Stewart reflects the team’s heritage as the people, processes and investment style became part of First State Investments following the acquisition of Stewart Ivory in 2000. The 29-strong investment team based in Edinburgh, Hong Kong and Singapore employs a unique, bottom-up investment approach aimed at maximising long-term returns through the selection of well-run, quality companies.
The First State Stewart team developed its equity investment expertise initially with a focus on the Asia Pacific region and Global Emerging Markets, but has since added a variety of allied specialist strategies such as China Equity, Sustainable Investment and most recently, Worldwide Equities. The investment style of First State Stewart is inherently conservative, with a focus on capital preservation as well as long-term capital growth. The team’s investment process adopts an absolute return mindset to avoid being carried away by indiscriminate euphoria. By focusing on the potential downside as well as on the upside when making any investment decision, the risk to long-term client returns is significantly reduced.
The team aims to invest in quality companies with strong fundamentals using a disciplined proprietary research methodology. The objective of the team’s research is to identify sensibly priced, highly quality companies that can deliver sustainable long-term earnings per share growth. First State Stewart believes selecting companies that display these features is the most important factor in producing consistent, above-average long-term performance with relatively low risk.