Four Seasons Asia to launch UCITS version of flagship Japan fund

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Singapore-based Four Seasons Asia Investment are bring their flagship long-only Japan fund into the international retail marketplace for the first time.

The UCITS version of the fund – previously only available to institutional investors – will be launched in September, the company said in a statement announcing the roll out.

Four Seasons was created in 2006 by CEO Shigeka Koda and managing director Kahori Ando, pictured left, who both also act as co-chief investment officers. Koda previously spent 14 years at Goldman Sachs prior to founding Four Seasons, where he was Japanese equity senior portfolio manager.  Ando spent 12 years at Sparx Asset Management before joining Four Seasons, latterly as Japanese equity senior portfolio manager.

Commenting on the launch, Koda, said: “After three decades of stagnation, it is understandable that Japanese equities are underweight in many international investor portfolios.

“But profound changes are now underway in the Japanese economy and in the Japanese society, this translates to the awakening of the sleeping giant.

‘Godzilla’ moment
“We believe that this is a ‘Godzilla’ moment for Japan when all these mega-trends combine to create massive changes and major opportunities for experienced Japan investors.”

Koda, pictured below left, believes that global financial markets have been looking for a source of alpha since the end of the central banks’ “ultra-easy” monetary policy. Japanese equities are the third largest globally in terms of market cap, but, he says, the sector has been neglected by international investors for three decades.

“With deflation now leaving the system, demographic, technological and regulatory changes are combining to kick-start the Japanese economy,” he added.

“We focus on capturing change as a source of return, and the major changes underway in Japan are creating similar opportunities in Japanese equities as existed in U.S equities in the 1980s.”

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Gary Robinson

Commercial Director, Head of Video at International Investment.