InvestmentsMay 13 2013

First State to close Leaders funds to new investments

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First State Investments is set to soft-close Jonathan Asante’s Global Emerging Markets Leaders funds to new investments in September.

The asset manager, which has previously soft-closed a number of the other funds operated by the First State Stewart Asia Pacific and Emerging Markets team, will impose a 4 per cent initial charge on new investors who buy the onshore version of Mr Asante’s fund from September 7 2013.

At the same time, the firm will stop all new inflows into the $1.3bn offshore First State Global Emerging Markets Leaders fund, run under the same strategy by Mr Asante.

The firm said investors making regular savings into the fund would not be affected if they keep up their “existing contributions”, while the asset manager intends to credit the initial charge to the onshore fund “for the time being”.

Chris Turpin, managing director (EMEA) and global head of product at First State, said the firm had been seeing “large and consistent inflows” into the strategy, which includes both the onshore and offshore version.

Mr Turpin said First State wanted to soft-close the fund before “encountering any capacity issues that could affect the performance or restrict the team’s ability to invest in certain companies”.

First State had previously sent a letter to investors warning that it would be forced to soft-close both Mr Asante’s fund and Angus Tulloch’s £7.3bn Asia Pacific Leaders fund if inflows continued.

The soft-closure follows on from Aberdeen Asset Management’s decision earlier this year to put a 2 per cent initial charge on its top-performing Emerging Markets fund, which means that the two long-term best-performing emerging markets funds are now closed to retail investors.