OMGI replaces offshore Japan Equity fund manager

Old Mutual Global Investors has made recent fund manager hire Rob Weatherston the new manager of its Dublin-domiciled Japanese Equity fund.

Weatherston, who joined at OMGI in April will operate from the firm’s Hong Kong-based Asian equities team as a Japanese equity manager.

He will report into Josh Crabb, head of Asian equities and takes over as manager of the Dublin-domiciled Old Mutual Japanese Equity fund, with effect from 17 June.

Earlier this month, OMGI decided to close its onshore version of the fund after its size reduced to just £18m.

In a statement at the time, OMGI notified shareholders in the onshore Old Mutual Japanese Equity fund that it will be closing on June 17 2016.

The statement read: “We have made the decision to close the fund because it has reduced in size and with remaining assets of less than £20m; it is no longer viable for it to remain open. We therefore believe that investors’ interests will be best served by closing the fund.”

UK version of fund closes

The UK onshore version of the fund, run from OGMI’s UK headquarters by Ian Heslop, Amadeo Alentorn and Mike Servent will close next month, but the offshore version of the fund remains with Weatherston now at its helm.

OMGI said that Heslop will continue to head the global equities team from the UK and there will be no further changes to the portfolios run by the team.

Previously Weatherston managed Japanese and Asia Pacific equity funds while working at BlackRock between 1996-2014, including the BGF Japan Flexible Equity fund.

OGMI said that Weatherston plans to use three methods to generate alpha for the fund: qualitative stock selection, a quantitative screening process and a thematic overlay approach.

The fund has a total return focus and invests in a diversified portfolio of Japanese-based equities, or companies that have a predominant proportion of their assets or business operations in Japan.

Japan opportunities

Weatherston believes that the much-maligned Japanese market can still offer investor opportunities.

“While the overall Japanese market is currently out of favour, there are many stocks that are performing very well,” he said.  “We see significant opportunities to generate returns within the market.”

Gary Robinson
Head of Video and Ezines at Open Door Media Publishing. Deputy Editor, International Investment. An experienced journalist and filmmaker with more than 20 years' financial services experience, both as journalist and originally as a fully qualified IFA, Gary works across both International Investment and InvestmentEurope titles. Previous video production credits include projects on BBC, C4 and SKY.

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