Gait’s Pacific Assets gets full revamp

David Gait, a senior portfolio manager in First State’s global emerging markets and Asia Pacific ex-Japan team, has completely restructured the Pacific Assets trust.

Gait inherited the £129.3m trust from F&C Investments in July and has since sold 45 of its 50 positions. “The strategy that we are running is an Asian sustainability strategy, although the word sustainability can be misleading because it is not a green or ­ethical fund,” says Gait.

Instead, First State focuses on companies with high-quality management teams who aim to take advantage of changes in the region. (article continues below)

Gait, who also manages the Asia Pacific Sustainability fund and the Indian Subcontinent fund, has adopted the philosophy followed on other First State funds, which includes a strong focus on absolute returns, capital preservation and capital growth. Portfolios often differ significantly from the benchmark. In Pacific Assets, for example, the top 10 stocks account for up to 35-40% of the portfolio but for less than 5% of the benchmark.

The trust holds several gas companies and a range of consumer staple firms.

F&C used to run the ­Pacific Assets trust under the management of Peter Dalgliesh. The loss of the mandate was the second for F&C this year, after Edinburgh Partners assumed management of the £283m Foreign & Colonial Eurotrust (now the European Investment trust) in February.

F&C has received notice from the board of the F&C Commercial Property trust of a merger with Ignis Investment’s UK Commercial Property trust. If the deal goes ahead, the mandate will be handed to Ignis.