Up to a maximum of 20% of the Company’s total assets (at the time of investment) may be invested in companies incorporated and/or listed outside the Asia Pacific Region (as defined above); at least 25% of their economic activities (at the time of investment) are within the Asia Pacific Region and this proportion is expected to grow significantly over the longer term.

Investment Manager

Stewart Investors, which has been the Company’s Investment Manager since 1 July 2010, adopt a sustainable investment strategy in selecting the investments that make up the Company’s investment portfolio.

They aim to invest in companies which benefit from, and contribute to, the sustainable development of the Asia Pacific Region.

Since the launch of the Stewart Investors Asia Pacific and Emerging Markets team’s first product in 1988, sustainable investment has been an integral part of the team’s investment philosophy and stock-picking process.

At the heart of this philosophy is the principle of stewardship.

Stewart Investors believe their job is to invest in good quality companies with strong management teams and sound long-term growth prospects.

Each investment is a decision to purchase part of a real business with all the rights and responsibilities that go with this ‘share’ of the ownership of the company.

They take these rights and responsibilities seriously.

All Stewart Investors investment strategies strive to integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations into every investment decision.

The Sustainable Funds Group take this one step further by focusing on long-term sustainable development as a key driver of the investment process.

The portfolio manager of the Company is
David Gait, supported by Douglas Ledingham.

David Gait

David is Head of the Sustainable Funds Group and a Portfolio Manager. He sits on the Stewart Investors Board. David joined the team as a graduate in 1997.

He is lead manager of Asia Pacific Leaders Sustainability and Asia Pacific Sustainability strategies, as well as Pacific Assets Investment Trust.

David holds an MA with honours in Economics from Cambridge University, and holds a Master of Science in Investment Analysis from Stirling University.

Douglas Ledingham

Douglas is a Portfolio Manager with the Sustainable Funds Group at Stewart Investors. He joined the team in October 2013, having been an intern with Stewart Investors during 2013.

Douglas is lead manager of the Asia Pacific and Japan Sustainability strategy.

He holds an MA in Business Studies and Accountancy from the University of Edinburgh.

For more information about the Stewart Investors team, click here.

History of Stewart Investors

Stewart Investors traces its history back to The Scottish American Investment Company, which was established in Edinburgh in 1873.

Stewart Fund Managers was set up as a distinct company in 1961 and merged with Ivory & Co to form Stewart Ivory in 1985.

In its more recent form, Stewart Investors began when Angus Tulloch joined Stewart Ivory in 1988 to set up its Asia Pacific and subsequently Global Emerging Markets investment operations.

Stewart Ivory was acquired by Australian financial services group Colonial in 2000 and in the same year Colonial was purchased by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. The overseas fund management business of Colonial was merged with Stewart Ivory to form First State Investments (FSI). In 2012, the Asia Pacific/GEM team became First State Stewart, a stand-alone investment management boutique within FSI.

On 1 July 2015, the First State Stewart investment team split to form two new teams; one primarily based in Edinburgh (Stewart Investors) and the other in Hong Kong (First State Stewart Asia). This enabled the two teams to develop as smaller, more dynamic investment management groups, recognising that this has been critical to their success. Both teams remained part of First State Investments, part of Colonial First State Global Asset Management.

In July 2019, Colonial First State Global Asset Management and its subsidiaries, were acquired by Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation.

Investment Philosophy

Stewart Investors are long-term investors.

They strive to make investment decisions with a minimum five-year time horizon.
They have an absolute return mind-set, defining risk as losing client money, rather than deviation from any benchmark index.
They focus as much on the potential downside of investment decisions as on the anticipated upside.
They believe that the identification of long-term sustainable development risks is an extremely important way of managing risk.
Their willingness to differ substantially from index weightings, both country and company, means they are not obliged to invest in any company or country if they have particular sustainability concerns.

The Sustainable Funds Group

Stewart Investors Sustainable Funds Group (SFG) also recognise there is no such thing as a perfect company.

They are active owners and stewards of the companies in which they invest.

Although they do no formal negative screening, they are unlikely to invest in companies operating in high risk sectors, such as gambling and tobacco, because of their poor long-term sustainable development positioning.

What does Stewart Investors mean by Sustainable Investment?

The SFG invest in those companies which they believe are particularly well-positioned to deliver positive long-term returns in the face of the huge sustainable development challenges facing all countries today.

Their emphasis is on sustainable development and not ‘green’, ‘clean tech’ or ‘ethical’ investing.

The root causes of the sustainable development challenges the world is facing are numerous and complex.

They include population pressure, land and water scarcity and degradation, resource constraints, income inequality, ethnic and gender inequalities and extreme levels of poverty.

In order to tackle these challenges, both developed and developing countries will have to shift from a resource-intensive, consumption-driven, debt-dependent model of development and growth towards a more sustainable one.

To find out more about the SFG and Sustainability click here.

Board of Directors

To find out more about our Board of Directors click here.