Legg Mason launches Ucits version of EM fund

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Legg Mason launches Ucits version of EM fund

Legg Mason has launched a Dublin-based Ucits version of the Legg Mason IF Martin Currie Emerging Markets fund, managed by Martin Currie’s head of Global Emerging Markets Kim Catechis (pictured).

The strategy, whose inception dates back to 2015, invests in sustainable companies from emerging market countries through fundamental research and bottom-up stock-picking coupled to an ESG analysis. Martin Currie is a signatory of the UN PRI since 2009.

The fund holds between 40-60 stocks, with a diversified country allocation and a high active share. It currently plays the tech trend in emerging markets, notably through Chinese e-commerce player Alibaba.

Commenting on the launch of the Ucits fund, Catechis said: “Emerging market companies are already dominant in many industries, and are challenging for dominance in many more. Banking, capital equipment and energy are just some of the areas that will soon be led by the developing world. The challenge for investors is to translate the developing world’s competitive advantage into real, sustainable returns – we think our strategy can offer the solution.”

Alexander Barry, head of UK Sales at Legg Mason, added: “Emerging markets are very much on the agenda of our clients and we are pleased that we are in a position where we can provide our clients with vehicle choice. In light of Brexit, some clients prefer the on-shore ICVC funds whilst some others would prefer a Dublin-based fund.

“Our affiliate Martin Currie offers a sound investment process and over 20 years’ experience in emerging markets investments. Global Emerging Markets companies don’t necessarily behave like their developed-world counterparts and often face wildly different challenges and opportunities. To navigate this environment safely, investment managers need specialist skills, a thorough understanding of the individual companies and their risks, and perhaps most importantly, experience.”

Legg Mason had assets under management of $754bn as of end September 2017.