Asset management

‘Father of emerging markets’ Mark Mobius launches new venture targeting green firms

The new fund house plans to launch a Luxembourg-based open-ended fund, with funding from Mobius and partners, as well as some selected investors

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 03 May, 2018, 12:51pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 03 July, 2018, 5:31pm

Former Templeton Emerging Markets Group executive chairman and “father of emerging markets” Mark Mobius has co-founded a new asset management company to invest in firms that uphold social and environmental responsibility standards in the region. 

The 81-year-old fund manager who retired from Templeton in January said he had established Mobius Capital Partners LLP with other two veteran managers, Carlos Hardenberg and Greg Konieczny.

Headquartered in London, the firm will adopt an active investment approach with the intention to promote emerging market companies to improve their corporate governance standards, social and environmental policies. 

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“In Carlos and Greg, I have two partners with an enviable legacy and track record. Our combined knowledge and on-the-ground experience in sustainable investing is what sets us apart, and gives us the leading edge in delivering the changes we want to see in emerging and frontier markets,” Mobius said.

Mobius has over 30 years of experience investing in emerging markets, and was one of the early birds to invest in developing economies in Asia and mainland China. These markets are considered riskier than their developed counterparts but they usually generate higher returns.

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Mobius set up Templeton’s first emerging market fund for the American public with US$100 million in 1987. Under his leadership, Templeton Emerging Markets Group managed US$40 billion at its peak in 2007, before asset size shrank to US$26 billion in 2016 when day-to-day management of the group was handed to Stephen Dover, head of equities for Franklin Templeton.

Our combined knowledge and on-the-ground experience in sustainable investing ... gives us the leading edge in delivering the changes we want to see in emerging and frontier markets
Mark Mobius

Franklin Templeton appointed Manraj Sekhon in January 2018 to oversee the emerging markets equity teams across the organisation.

“We wish Mark Mobius and his team well in their future endeavours,” said a Franklin Templeton spokeswoman.

Mobius’ partners are also veteran fund managers in the emerging markets. Carlos Hardenberg has 19 years of experience and had managed one of the largest frontier market funds for a decade, as well as a number of global emerging markets funds, including a £2.2 billion (US$2.99 billion) London-listed investment trust. 

Greg Konieczny has over 25 years of experience in research and portfolio management with a focus on emerging Europe. He was the fund manager of a London and Bucharest-listed US$2.7 billion Romanian fund and an open-ended Eastern European fund.

The company plans to launch a Luxembourg-based open-ended fund, which is subject to approval. Initial funding will come from Mobius and the two partners, as well as some selected investors. UBS will be the fund administrator.

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