Nitin Bajaj has been appointed the new portfolio manager of the £190m Fidelity Asian Values investment trust replacing John Lo.
The Board of Fidelity Asian Values noted the change reflected its wish to move to a strategy “that better suits Fidelity Asian Values’ closed-ended structure and provides further opportunities for the investment trust to outperform its peers”.
It added the two managers would work closely together to ensure a “smooth transition period” from April 1 2015 as they realign the portfolio.
Kate Bolsover, chairman of Fidelity Asian Values, said the change of manager would allow Mr Lo, who has managed the trust for 13 years, to “focus exclusively on his open-ended funds and the board would like to thank him for his diligent management of the portfolio in what has been a challenging period in Asian equity markets”.
Mr Bajaj has managed the Fidelity Funds Asian Smaller Companies fund since September 2013 and adopts a value investing approach with asset allocation resulting from a bottom-up rather than top-down approach. He originally joined Fidelity as a research analyst in 2003 and was promoted to assistant portfolio manager on the Fidelity Global Special Situations fund in the UK in 2007, before moving to the company’s Mumbai office in 2009 to manage two domestic Indian equity funds.
Ms Bolsover added: “Nitin is a value investor and aims to generate alpha through stock selection within the Asia Pacific ex Japan region in a manner which the Board believes closely delivers the investment objective for its shareholders. He prefers investing in smaller companies as they tend to be less well researched, which leads to greater valuation anomalies.”
In addition Fidelity confirmed the investment trust’s reference index will also change from August 1 from the MSCI AC Far East ex Japan index to the MSCI AC Asia Pacific ex-Japan index, which it notes includes India, Australia and New Zealand and brings it in line with its peer group.
“Although Asia has slowed down in line with the rest of the world from the levels seen before the financial crisis, the region’s structural growth story remains intact and it should continue to be one of the fastest growing in the world. The Board believes that the changes announced today position the fund to make the most of these opportunities for the benefit of shareholders,” explained Ms Bolsover.
The Fidelity Asian Values trust has delivered a total return of 272.86 per cent in the 10 years to March 26 2015 compared with an average return of 229.9 per cent from the AIC IT Asia Pacific ex Japan equities sector and the 208.31 per cent increase in the MSCI AC Far East ex Japan index, according to FE Analytics.