L&G revealed as main investor of First State fund

Legal & General’s multi-manager team has revealed itself to be the main seed investor in First State Investment’s Latin America fund, which was launched on April 14.

Tim Gardner and Alan Thein, the fund managers of L&G’s £380m multi-manager portfolio, invested about £7m to support the launch of the new fund.

The pair first approached First State to discuss the venture last year. “We have known First State and its Asia Pacific and Global Emerging Markets team for many years and we admire the firm’s expertise in Latin America,” Thein says.

The pair hold the First State Latin America fund in each of their three multi-manager trusts. The First State vehicle is run by emerging market specialists Jonathan Asante and Millar Mathieson. Since launch it has risen by over 30% and at the end of July it had £18m in assets under management.

Gardner says that the ability to support the launch of a fund by another asset manager is an advantage of L&G’s multi manager strategy. “We are able to choose who we consider to be the best managers in the market for each appropriate asset class and strategy,” he says.

Supporting the First State launch enabled the L&G multi-manager team to target both a specific market and fund manager.

Gardner says L&G’s involvement in the First State fund launch was not part of any wider investment initiative. “Seeding new funds is something we will continue to consider in the future, as and when such a strategy may be warranted,” he adds.

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