17 March 2015 - First State Stewart, the team that runs First State Investments' GEM, Asia and global equity mandates, is to be split into two investment teams; one based in Edinburgh, lead by Angus Tulloch (Stewart Investors) and the other in Hong Kong, lead by Martin Lau (First State Stewart Asia). The split will take place on 1st July 2015.
The two new teams will not work together. A Chinese wall will be put in place and the two teams will compete with each other.
First State have said that this change is taking place to help capacity issues and return the teams to the more boutique culture they prefer.
There are currently no plans to re-open funds which have been closed to new investments.
First State Asia Pacific Leaders fund remains on Chelsea's Selection and Core Selection, and all First State FundCalibre Elite Rated funds maintain their Elite ratings, but a watching brief is required.
Commenting on the changes to the First State Asia investment team, Darius McDermott, managing director of Chelsea and FundCalibre, said: “Splitting a specialist investment team in two is an unusual move, and putting Chinese walls in place between them even more so.
“That said, the split, as it has been made, seems logical in terms of personnel and the lead managers on our Elite rated funds will not change. As such, the funds will retain their Elite ratings, but we will be keeping a watching brief on the situation. I wouldn’t be surprised if a further distancing of the teams in some way occurs in the future.
“In the meantime, we will be keen to meet the two teams after 1st July when the split has occurred, to reassure ourselves that the smaller teams and resources and new ‘mini’ cultures are working effectively.”