SLI bolsters emerging market debt offering with hire and fund launch


Standard Life Investments has added to its emerging markets debt team and also announced it is launching an emerging market debt fund to in response to European investor demand for the “increasingly popular” asset class.

Imran Ahmad, who joins from JP Morgan Asset Management, will become investment director at SLI.

He has 12 years’ experience in the industry and was a currency portfolio manager at JP Morgan.

Reporting to Richard House, head of emerging markets fixed income, Ahmad will be responsible for emerging market currency overlay strategies.

It comes as SLI announces the launch of the Emerging Market Debt (EMD) Unconstrained Sicav, which will be managed by House and Kieran Curtis.

It is the fourth emerging debt strategy to be offered by SLI, joining the Emerging Market Debt, Emerging Market Local Currency Debt and Emerging Market Corporate Bond funds.

House, who is head of emerging markets fixed income at SLI says: “By opting for an actively managed unconstrained solution such as this, investors can access the best opportunities that exist across the different subsets of the asset class within a single portfolio.

“While the fundamental backdrop is sound for most emerging market countries, it is important to recognise that this is not universally the case.

“The lack of an index constraint is designed to help avoid exposure to or to take short positions in countries which are experiencing macroeconomic challenges and where asset price performance is expected to be poor.”

The fund will have an opportunity set of more than 70 countries to invest in, covering hard and local currency sovereign debt and hard currency corporate debt.