Ashburton has launched the Africa Equity Opportunities Fund with a strategy focused on targeting undervalued listed African equities (ex-South Africa) across various sectors to achieve long-term capital growth.
Aimed at experienced retail and institutional investors, including the private wealth and family office space, Paul Clark will be the lead adviser to the fund, bringing over 15 years’ experience in African listed equity markets.
Clark says: “Now is an exciting time for Ashburton to be launching an Africa Fund; Africa is a growth story and seven of the ten quickest growing economies globally will be in Africa in the next five years. We are invested across Africa (ex SA), targeting some of the fastest growing markets in the continent. Valuations are cheap relative to emerging markets globally and the consumer boom is leading to greater demand in other sectors such as infrastructure development, construction and leisure. Continuously improving operating environments across the continent means investors now have access to previously un-obtainable opportunities while providing greater protection for investors’ interests.”
Clark, ex-head of research for the African Alliance Group, launched his first African fund in 2007. Based in South Africa, he will be travelling extensively within the continent meeting with companies to assess their value first hand. Benefiting from an unconstrained approach, he will run a high-conviction portfolio, using a bottom-up stock selection process.
Peter Bourne, managing director of Ashburton, says: “While this is a new fund for us, Africa is extremely familiar territory. Ashburton is part of the FirstRand Group, one of the largest financial services groups on the African continent, giving us on the ground presence and local insights. Combined with Paul’s own substantial experience in these markets, and the team’s location in Johannesburg, we are extremely well placed to capture the high growth this continent presents. Africa is no longer bracketed as a resource–dominated investment; it represents a multi-faceted opportunity for investors in some of the fastest-growing economies in the world.”
Ashburton recently launched a UCITS platform and the Africa Equity Opportunities Fund is the first fund on the platform. The UCITS platform is part of Ashburton’s strategy to expand its product range and reach new markets through a fund vehicle with high standards of governance and transparency.