First State splits Stewart team into two divisions

First State splits Stewart team into two divisions

First State Investments has split its First State Stewart team into two separate divisions to cope with the “burden of scale”.

The First State Stewart (FSS) team had been managing the firm’s Asia Pacific, worldwide and global emerging market (GEM) funds but has now been split due to the growing scale of assets managed by the team.

The newly renamed Stewart Investors will be based in Edinburgh and will comprise the GEM, Worldwide and Sustainability fund ranges, as well as most Asia Pacific funds, including Asia Pacific Leaders.

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The other team will work out of Hong Kong and will be rebranded FSS Asia and will manage mainly single-country mandates within Asia, as well as the Asia Equity Leaders, Asia Select, Far East Leaders and Greater China funds.

First State said the split would not result in any changes to the investment philosophy or process on any of the funds, although there will not be any sharing of research between the two divisions in future.

The only change in fund management responsibilities will be David Gait, better known for managing the Sustainability range, replacing Richard Jones as co-manager on the Asia Pacific Leaders fund.

And as part of the reshuffle, Jonathan Asante, now a member of the Stewart Investors team, will move back to the UK at some point in 2015 or 2016.

In a letter to investors, First State said the growth in its funds had “necessitated growth in the team” which necessitated the split to “allow each to move forward as smaller, flexible businesses”.

Both teams will still be owned by First State Investments, the asset management arm of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.