Blackfriars launches focused emerging market equity fund

Blackfriars launches focused emerging market equity fund

Blackfriars Asset Management has launched its first fund since buying up BDT Invest and setting its stall out for a major UK expansion.

The specialist emerging markets asset manager has launched the Blackfriars Developing Markets Focus fund, to be managed by Tony Hann and Anastasia Levashova.

Blackfriars’ chief executive Tom Waring said the fund had been launched on the back of client demand for “a high conviction, focused and benchmark agnostic portfolio”.

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The fund will invest in between 30 and 40 stocks from across both emerging and frontier markets.

Blackfriars, a company which was spun out of BNY Mellon after the financial crisis, bought Asian equity boutique BDT in June to take its assets over £500m.

And Mr Waring then declared, in an interview with Investment Adviser that the firm was looking to shift its approach to launch funds that would appeal to discretionary managers and retail investors in the UK.

Mr Waring said most of Blackfriars’s existing funds were benchmark-constrained, because that was what its institutional clients demanded, but he said the firm would look to launch more focused, unconstrained funds in the future.

Mr Hann is head of equities at Blackfriars, having worked for the firm since before it was spun out of BNY Mellon.

Blackfriars hired Ms Levashova in July last year from BNP Paribas, where she had been head of central and eastern Europe, Middle East and African sales.