First State Investments has announced some changes to the structure of the First State Stewart team which they intend will become effective on 1 July 2015.

First State Investments (First State) has today announced some changes to the structure of the First State Stewart (FSS) team which they intend will become effective on 1 July 2015.

These changes will see the FSS team split to form two new teams; one primarily based in Hong Kong and the other in Edinburgh. The separation of the teams protects FSS’s current business and creates opportunities for further growth. Recognizing that working as a small dynamic investment group has been critical to their success over the last 20 years, FSS wish to continue that, giving both teams their own identity and autonomy.

In more recent years, FSS has been contending with the burden of scale. The team has been disciplined in their approach to managing their funds and have closed a number of funds to new investment to prevent capacity issues that could impact performance, so that the interests of existing investors are protected. Over the years the FSS team has benefitted from being a relatively small and dynamic investment team, but the growth in funds has necessitated growth in their team. Splitting the team in two is the culmination of many years of planning and development and will allow each to move forward as smaller, flexible businesses.

There will be no change to the teams’ investment philosophy and process. Indeed, the split will help to ensure the teams’ philosophy is not affected by an increase in team size or assets.

In addition to this, the Edinburgh successor team will be rebranded Stewart Investors and will, in effect, become an investment division in its own right. Both teams will remain part of First State, reporting to Mark Lazberger, the Chief Executive Officer. Stewart Investors will continue to have a number of colleagues based in Singapore, London and in the near future, Sydney. The FSS Asia team will be primarily based in Hong Kong, with colleagues also working out of Singapore and Edinburgh.

Investment management is not a static business. Today’s announcement should be viewed as part of our ongoing evolution and another example of being prepared to make decisions that are in the best interests of our clients, and also for the long-term sustainability of our investment teams.

 

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