Emerging markets veterans launch Aikya Investment Management
Five former senior members from Stewart Investors are among the founding members of new London-based investment boutique, Aikya Investment Management (Aikya).
The former Stewart Investors team members include Ashish Swarup, Tom Allen, Alan Nesbit, Michael Summers and Alex Khosla.
Swarup was the lead portfolio manager on several emerging markets and Asia Pacific strategies offered by Stewart Investors. Allen was co-manager with Swarup on a number of these strategies. Other founding members of the firm are former Fidelity Institutional Asset Management (FIAM) Emerging Markets All Cap Strategy portfolio manager, Rahul Desai, and former Income Partners Asset Management senior analyst, Trevor Fung. Desai was assistant portfolio manager to Swarup on the FIAM Emerging Markets All Cap Strategy for four years, before taking over as lead portfolio manager in 2014. Combined, the new Aikya team has significant experience investing in emerging markets, through multiple market cycles.
“The majority of the Aikya team have all worked closely together on emerging markets strategies at leading investment firms, allowing us to forge strong relationships and gain an intricate understanding of the compelling investment opportunities within emerging markets across the globe,” says Aikya portfolio manager Ashish Swarup. “We believe our combined experience and knowledge can now better serve investors in an independent, investment-led boutique, majority owned by the investment team.”
Sydney-headquartered multi-affiliate investment firm, Pinnacle Investment Management Group Limited (PNI:ASX), is Aikya’s minority equity partner who will provide non-investment support functions including a distribution force of 30 people located in London, New York, Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland and industrial grade middle office and infrastructure services.
“Since opening our London office in 2018 we have made great in-roads into the European marketplace and we now look forward to supporting the growth of our first European-based affiliate investment manager,” says Pinnacle Investment Management managing director Ian Macoun. “We believe Pinnacle and Aikya are a natural fit. Both teams have a strong belief that investment excellence is best sustained within an environment of supported independence. We have immense confidence in the capabilities of Aikya’s esteemed investment team.”
Aikya’s flagship Global Emerging Markets strategy comprises a concentrated portfolio of 30-35 companies, with a focus on buying high quality companies at sensible valuations. Aikya applies a holistic approach to judging quality, with quality of executive stewardship, quality of the franchise and quality of financials being the most important criteria. The Aikya portfolio is designed with a view to protect downside to capital, while generating healthy long term returns for investors.
“Aikya is being set up with a strong sense of purpose. We will be taking the analysis of stewardship to the next level – incorporating analysis of environment, social and governance related issues with as much rigour as traditional financial metrics. Our investment approach enables us to ignore thousands of sub-standard companies that make up the emerging markets universe, and instead focus on building a highly concentrated portfolio of only the best,” says Aikya portfolio manager Rahul Desai.
“We are not going to allocate capital to industries with negative social utility such as coal, gambling, tobacco and defence equipment makers. Pursuing an active engagement agenda on every company held in the portfolio is a key part of our investment process, which not only helps us in enhancing the investment case on the company, but also enables us to forge closer relationships with company management teams.”
The Aikya Global Emerging Markets strategy is available to eligible investors as a separately managed account (SMA) and will be launching a UCITS ICAV pooled fund in the near future.