Legg Mason, the international asset management firm, has launched the Legg Mason IF Martin Currie Asia Unconstrained Fund as part of an expansion of its unconstrained range of portfolios.
The fund is managed by the independent affiliate Martin Currie, an active equity specialist with $16bn1 of assets under management.
The Legg Mason IF Martin Currie Asia Unconstrained Fund is part of the existing range of Asian long-term unconstrained strategies – with current assets under management of $2.5bn2 – which Martin Currie has managed since 2008.
The Fund seeks to capture Asian economic growth (excluding Japan) through a concentrated, unconstrained portfolio of 20-40 high-quality companies. It is a UK-domiciled, daily-traded fund managed by Martin Currie’s head of Asia, Andrew Graham, and his fellow portfolio manager, Paul Danes.
The team seeks growth businesses in the region, with a particular focus on companies with high free cashflow which have shown to be strong stewards of capital.
The team operates a long-term ‘buy-and-hold’ approach, aiming to hold companies for over 5 years in order to compound returns, as well as reducing transaction costs.
The new fund was offered as a rollover option following the closure of the Martin Currie Asia Unconstrained Trust plc (MCP), a UK listed investment trust. The underlying portfolio was also managed by Andrew Graham, Paul Danes and the team.
Andrew Graham, head of Asia and manager of the Martin Currie Asia Unconstrained fund, said: “The Asia ex Japan region is set to continue to outstrip the developed world in terms of GDP growth, driven by consumption, trade, infrastructure development and technology.
“With new industries and capabilities continuing to emerge, Asia’s impressive growth story continues and it remains an attractive prospect for investors. It is not without its challenges, however, these can be mitigated by investing at reasonable valuations in a diversified portfolio of higher-return businesses, that are cash generative and have opportunities for continued growth, backed up by sound finances and a management team with a history of sensible capital deployment.
“The opportunity is therefore compelling for investors, especially if pursued via a strategy which focuses on the true growth stories within the region.”
Alex Barry, head of UK sales at Legg Mason, said: “We had a clear focus for our Asian long-term unconstrained strategy when it was launched over 10 years ago and it remains our focus today for this new fund which we are delighted to be able to offer to investors.”