St James’s Place today announced the change in name of its Far East fund – part of a £1.5bn mandate – to Asia Pacific fund, replacing Aberdeen’s Hugh Young with Alistair Thompson and Martin Lau of First State Stewart Asia.
A victory for the latter perhaps in the long-running battle between the two fund giants. However, it was a bitter sweet pill for Stewart in loosing mandates on SJP’s Global Emerging Markets and £4bn Worldwide Opportunities funds.
The latter were helmed by Jonathan Asante, but with both he and figurehead Angus Tulloch stepping back from day-to-day fund management this month, it’s clear that a mood of change is in the air.
It’s easy to see how SJP came to its decision on the Far East fund, reducing exposure to Japanese equities and introducing greater flexibility to invest in the broader Asia Pacific region.
Over the past three years SJP Far East has delivered 15%, compared to 25% from its benchmark MSCI AC Asia Pacific and 27% from the average peer group fund, according to FE data.
"It’s easy to see how St James's Place came to its decision on the Far East fund"
Over the same time period, in the IA Global Emerging Markets sector Aberdeen Emerging Markets Equity (8.4%) and Global Emerging Markets Equity (7.6%) have fallen behind their rivals.
According to FE data, it is the small-cap focused funds of Franklin Templeton and JPM that lead the way, while the Gary Greenberg-led Hermes Global Emerging Markets (24.9%) and Rob Marshall-Lee’s Newton Global Emerging Markets funds are also notable strong performers.