LONDON — London-based money manager First State Investments U.K. Ltd. is threatening to surpass the big players from the leagues of emerging market managers.
The firm, owned by Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Sydney, has more than tripled emerging markets and Asia ex-Japan assets under management in the past five months, going from £900 million ($1.5 billion) at the end of June to £3.1 billion at the start of November, according to company figures.
"There was steady growth throughout the year, from February '03 to June. But between June and November, we saw that demand curve go right up," said Martin Harris, head of institutional business development at the firm. "There are a number of consultants around the world who are pushing this asset class very heavily. We have been lucky in that we've got onto recommended lists of a few key consultants," Mr. Harris said.
European pension plans accounted for 66% of the new inflow into the emerging markets and Asia ex-Japan classes, while U.S. plans represented about 22%, he said.
Mr. Harris declined to reveal the names of any recent wins, but mandates won in the past year, according to reports published in Pensions & Investments, include:
-- £44 million from the £2.1 billion Centrica Pension Scheme, Windsor, England;
-- £250 million from the £9 billion British Coal Staff Pension Scheme, Sheffield, England, and
-- £300 million under a subadvisory agreement from Banca Fideuram, Milan, Italy.