First State transfers £4bn fund to Dublin ahead of Brexit

Pedro Gonçalves
clock • 1 min read

Australia’s First State Investments is transferring the £4bn funds it oversees for European clients to Ireland from the UK as Brexit looms.

The firm also announced it intends to open a management company in Dublin next year, in order ensure access to its EU client base regardless of the outcome from the UK’s negotiations with the EU.

First State’s managing director for Europe, the Middle East and Asia Chris Turpin, said: “Our proposals are intended to protect the interests of all investors, and in particular to ensure that our EU-based clients can continue to invest in our strategies irrespective of the outcome of the Brexit negotiations.”

The Brexit measure means euro class shares of 18 funds within First State’s UK-domiciled Oeic range will be exchanged for equivalent euro class shares of Ucits-compliant funds in Ireland run by the same portfolio management teams.

The move follows similar announcements by Columbia Threadneedle and M&G Investments, which both chose Luxembourg, as fund managers grow increasingly frustrated with the lack of clarity over how the UK’s withdrawal from the EU will affect their cross-border business.

Last month, Baillie Gifford opened a Dublin arm last month, after Morgan Stanley moved its European investment management division from London to the Irish capital in June and LGIM launched a ‘super ManCo’ in the city to manage European-distributed funds in May.

Investors in the First State UK OEIC range will receive the detail of the plans in October this year.

First State has operated Dublin-based pooled funds for almost 20 years. The firm also said it was seeking approval to set up management company operations in Dublin in 2019 to ensure it is “well placed to service and grow its client base across the EU member states, regardless of the Brexit outcome”.