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John Moorhead

Maple-Brown Abbott GEM equity strategy and new appointment

By Yasmine Masi14 October 2021

Boutique investment manager Maple-Brown Abbott will launch a global emerging markets investment offering, and has appointed John Moorhead to lead it in the newly created role of Head of Global Emerging Markets.

In the role, Moorhead will work with senior management to develop the firm’s GEM capabilities and will serve as lead portfolio manager and investment analyst. He will be responsible for recruiting additional investment analysts for the new offering, which is expected to be available to investors by mid-2022.

Prior to joining Maple-Brown Abbott, Moorhead was the Head of Emerging Market Equities at Pictet Asset Management in London. Appointed to the role in 2017, he led a team of 20 investors managing US$6 billion in assets. He was also previously a research analyst at Macquarie Bank.

CEO and Managing Director at Maple-Brown Abbott, Sophia Rahmani, said Moorhead’s track record in GEM equities and his focus on sustainable investing prove he is the ideal person to establish the firm’s new capability.

“A key component of our growth strategy is to actively seek opportunities to develop new offerings for investors, both through organic growth of existing capabilities and through acquisition, and GEM is a natural fit for our business.

“Investing in GEM provides investors with the opportunity to gain exposure to some of the largest and fastest growing economies globally. In the past 20 years, emerging markets have risen from a quarter of world GDP to now close to half, while its equity markets are still a fraction of the size of those in the developed world.

“We are thrilled to have someone of John’s calibre and experience joining the Maple-Brown Abbott team and are excited to soon be able to provide a contemporary GEM solution to investors,” she said.

Moorhead said he was attracted to joining Maple-Brown Abbott because of its long history of investing in Asian emerging markets and the experience of its Asian investment team.

“Emerging markets offer fertile ground for active management, where rigorous research and a disciplined investment process allows investors to uncover exciting opportunities.

“I plan to take a concentrated approach to investing in GEM by focusing on those companies with the prospect of generating sustainably strong cash returns on capital, run by shareholder-oriented management teams, and purchasing them at a discount to our estimate of fair value.

“Focusing on sustainable returns and valuations is core to my investment approach. It means investing for the long term and looking not just at the ESG risks that can be so important in emerging markets, but beyond that to those companies that can benefit multiple stakeholders to generate those sustainably high returns,” he said.

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