Maple-Brown Abbott has appointed a global head of emerging markets as it launches a new strategy investing in the space.
The boutique hired John Moorhead to the newly created role. He is based in Sydney and will report to chief executive and managing director Sophia Rahmani and chief investment officer Garth Rossler.
Moorhead will be responsible for building out the emerging markets team at the firm as well as serving as lead portfolio manager and investment analyst.
Maple-Brown Abbott said it expects to launch the new emerging markets strategy by mid-2022.
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Moorhead was most recently head of emerging market equities with Pictet Asset Management in London, where he led a team of 20 investors managing US$6 billion in assets. He has relocated to Sydney to join Maple-Brown Abbott.
Rahmani said Moorhead is the ideal person to establish the new capability.
"A key component of our growth strategy is to actively seek opportunities to develop new offerings for investors, both through organic growth of existing capabilities and through acquisition, and GEM [global emerging markets] is a natural fit for our business," she said.
The boutique has been managing Asian equities for close to 20 years now.
"Adding specialist GEM expertise will allow us to broaden our offering to investors, in an asset class where we see significant opportunities," Rahmani said.
"Investing in GEM provides investors with the opportunity to gain exposure to some of the largest and fastest growing economies globally. In the past 20 years, emerging markets have risen from a quarter of world GDP to now close to half, while its equity markets are still a fraction of the size of those in the developed world."
Moorhead added: "Emerging markets offer fertile ground for active management, where rigorous research and a disciplined investment process allows investors to uncover exciting opportunities."
"I plan to take a concentrated approach to investing in GEM by focusing on those companies with the prospect of generating sustainably strong cash returns on capital, run by shareholder-oriented management teams, and purchasing them at a discount to our estimate of fair value."