Dubai skyline at sunset

Maple-Brown Abbott has launched a global emerging markets equity fund managed by John Moorhead.

The Maple-Brown Abbott Global Emerging Markets Equity Fund is invested in companies listed across global emerging and frontier markets and is actively managed. The Fund is managed on a ‘benchmark unaware’ basis, provides exposure to a concentrated portfolio of companies most likely to benefit from cyclical and structural change and typically holds 30–40 stocks. The Fund aims to outperform the MSCI Emerging Markets Net Index (AUD), after fees, over a five-year period.

CEO and Managing Director Sophia Rahmani says investing in global emerging markets provides investors with the opportunity to gain exposure to some of the largest and fastest growing economies globally.

“In the past 20 years, emerging markets have risen from a quarter of world GDP to now close to half, while its equity markets are still a fraction of the size of those in the developed world." 

“After the longest bear market since their inception, emerging markets today appear to be offering an abundance of compelling investment opportunities. Company management teams and business models have been stress-tested in recent years, with many coming through in stronger operating positions, and at attractive valuations.” 

John Moorhead, Head of Global Emerging Markets, said the core belief underlying the investment strategy for the new fund was the need to focus on both structural and cyclical change as the driver of cash flow, valuations and, ultimately, longer-term share price returns. 

“By placing change at the core of our philosophy, we seek to better identify and understand these shifts and how they will play out over our multi-year investment horizon. We believe the ideas capable of having the biggest impact are found at the intersection of our focus on change, our bottom-up, in-house industry research and our proprietary screen." 

“When looking at companies likely to benefit from cyclical and structural change, we believe it is important to focus on sustainable returns. For us, this means understanding that the long-term return potential is impacted by the business practices of management teams and owners, including their relationships with all their stakeholders, such as employees, customers, suppliers and local communities.” 

Mr Moorhead added the Maple-Brown Abbott Global Emerging Markets Fund may be appropriate for investors who are seeking capital growth with an investment horizon of at least five years, a very high risk tolerance and are comfortable with the risks associated with investing in global emerging markets. 

“In our view, a diversified investment portfolio benefits from an allocation to global emerging markets. Emerging market companies provide investors with a unique opportunity to access long-term trends including growing middle class consumption, evolving demographics and the energy transition. Given the wide range in companies, valuations and macroeconomic factors, we believe that active management (that is, active stock picking) is crucial when investing in global emerging markets.” 

Ms Rahmani said that while the global emerging market equity strategy was relatively new for Maple-Brown Abbott, there was deep and diverse investment experience in the Asia and Emerging Markets team, including 20 years’ experience investing in Asia and Mr Moorhead having previously worked as Head of Emerging Market Equities at Pictet Asset Management in London, where he worked for 13 years.

“We believe having someone of John’s calibre managing the strategy and our multicultural and multilingual investment team being based together in Sydney gives us an advantage.”

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