Somerset Capital Management adds Portfolio Manager on China team

Somerset Capital Management (Somerset Capital), a global emerging markets equities specialist based in London and Singapore, has appointed Min Chen as a Portfolio Manager on the firm's China team.

He joins Somerset Capital from Dymon Asia, where he was the Portfolio Manager of the Prospect View China Fund. Prior to joining Dymon Asia in 2018, he was Head of China at RWC Partners, Managing Director at Everest Partners and Chief Representative of Arisaig Partners in Shanghai.

Lilian Tai, a Singapore based analyst who previously worked with Min Chen at Dymon Asia, will also join the team. She brings with her over eight years’ experience investing in Asian emerging market equities with a particular focus on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) research in China.
 
As part of the team hire, Somerset Capital will take over management of the Prospect View China Fund on 1 November 2020. David Heng, the Senior China Analyst at Somerset Capital, will take on the role of Assistant Portfolio Manager of the Fund. He and Min Chen will be supported by Lilian Tai and Jovan Yeow, who joined Somerset Capital as a Senior Analyst from Capital Group in February 2020.
 
The hiring of Min Chen and Lilian Tai increases the investment team at Somerset Capital to 23 fund managers and analysts. This includes four dedicated members on the China team and seven further members with experience investing in China. Min Chen and Lilian Tai will be based in Somerset Capital’s Singapore office.
 
Min Chen, Portfolio Manager at Somerset Capital, says: “It was very important that we joined an emerging markets specialist with an investment philosophy and approach that complemented our own, which is exactly what Somerset Capital offers.
 
“China provides tremendous growth opportunities in a variety of sectors. It is our mission to adopt stringent bottom-up analysis, with high ESG standards, to find truly high-quality companies that will help our investors achieve attractive and sustainable returns in the long term.”
 
Dominic Johnson, CEO and Founding Partner of Somerset Capital, said: “Growing our specialist capabilities in China has been a key priority in 2020 and I’m delighted that we have been able to attract someone of Min Chen’s quality and experience to lead our efforts.
 
“Min and Lilian are a welcome addition to David Heng and the existing China-focused team. Their approach is centred on risk management, long-term sustainable investing and generating returns by looking beyond the mega caps, which fits perfectly with our own investment philosophy.

“The opportunities for bottom-up stockpickers in China are significant, but it remains a large underweight for many international investors who are understandably wary of the ongoing trade war and some of China’s other challenges, such as corporate governance. Understanding ESG risk will be absolutely essential in identifying the future long-term winners and losers in China, and Min and Lilian’s expertise in this area will be invaluable to the team.”
 
Timothy Hay, CEO of Asia at Somerset Capital, adds: “With China now approaching 50 per cent of the MSCI EM Index, it is increasingly likely that it will soon become a standalone position within allocators’ Strategic Asset Allocation models. This team hire, who join with a China Fund, is a direct response to this increase in client demand.
 
“The Prospect View China Fund is an important step in the expansion of our Asia business with more China-focused funds expected to be launched in the years ahead. Whilst we are exploring the possibility of launching an onshore office in China, the core of our Asian operations will always be in Singapore and we are delighted to welcome Min Chen and Lilian Tai to our business in this global hub of capital.”
 
The Prospect View China Fund is a Cayman Islands-domiciled vehicle available for sale on a restricted basis in Asia and the United States to eligible investors. Somerset Capital will be appointed as the sub-investment manager of the Fund on 1 November 2020 and will become the investment manager on 1 November 2021. Somerset Capital expects to launch a China vehicle for UK and European investors in 2021.