Coupland Cardiff builds EM offering with the hire of Jonathan Asante and ex-Stewart Investors team

by | Jan 31, 2023

Independent Asian Equities boutique, Coupland Cardiff Asset Management LLP (CCAM), has announced that it has expanded its investment team and capabilities, appointing a new Global Emerging Markets Equity team.

Jonathan Asante, established emerging markets investor and one of Stewart Investors’ previous Managing Partners, will be joined by his former Stewart Investors team members Chris Grey, Joanna Kay, Tom Prew and Dominic St George.

Dominic will be working from the US with the UK based team. Chris, Dominic and Tom have all been senior analysts and lead managers. Joanna, formerly a Stewart Investors board member, will be responsible for non-investment aspects of the business.

Stewart Investors is part of First Sentier (formerly First State Investments), which was acquired by Japanese Financial giant MUFG in 2019.  Jonathan left in 2019 after the transfer of ownership and the other team members remained.  In March 2022 the closure of that part of the Stewart Investors business was announced and the whole team look to join CCAM imminently.

CCAM is a privately owned independent asset manager with a partnership culture.  It manages USD 2bn of Japan, Indian and Asian-ex Japan equities on behalf of global consultants, institutions and professional investors.

James Tollemache, Chief Executive of CCAM, said:

“Jonathan and the team have demonstrated their investment process can deliver across several emerging market cycles and it has been used in a variety of ways by investors. It is gratifying that we can give investors access to this dynamic team once more within the environment we have at CCAM, based on ownership and partnership.

“Emerging markets are evolving constantly, and we believe we have the right team, in the right environment, to deliver an emerging market equity proposition that will stand the test of time.”

The team will pursue their proven investment philosophy within the stable framework of CCAM’s partnership.  This distinct approach grew from its infancy, developed by Jonathan Asante during his time as Emerging Markets Fund Manager at Axa Framlington in 2001.  It evolved greatly from November 2004 when he joined Stewart Investors. Its effectiveness saw client assets rise to circa $20 billion.  In 2013 the decision was taken to close the emerging markets business to new clients in order to preserve outcomes for existing clients.  Jonathan and the team will look to launch UCITS and Cayman funds in 2023 as well as managed accounts.

Jonathan Asante, Lead Fund Manager said:

“We have learned that our investment philosophy, focused on preserving clients’ money in order to grow it better in the long term, is simple to understand but hard to implement.  Having spent considerable time looking for the right long-term partner with the appropriate institutional structure, we feel fortunate to have found this in Coupland Cardiff Asset Management. 

“We have spent decades developing an approach of how best to both encourage and benefit from material improvements in the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people around the world from Asia to Latin America and Africa and we consider it a privilege to be able to offer this to clients once again.”

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