Comgest has attracted Japanese investors to its Japan equity strategy following the launch of a domestic fund.
Comgest has long had a presence in Japan, with its Tokyo office currently celebrating its 10th anniversary, and has built strong relationships with prominent Japanese institutional investors. The Group has been managing significant assets on behalf of Japanese investors in strategies such as European and Global Emerging Market equities and is also renowned for its rigorous ESG approach. Integration of non-financial factors has become an important criteria for many investors, especially as Japan has become increasingly focused on improving governmental standards following the Abe government’s encouragement of Stewardship and Governance Codes.
Comgest’s domestic Japan equity fund, which was launched for local institutional investors last year in response to an appetite for conviction quality growth portfolios, replicates the Irish-domiciled Comgest Growth Japan UCITS fund and aims to achieve sustainable long-term growth based on a bottom-up stock picking approach. Three Japanese fund-of-funds groups have made an initial investment of USD25m into the vehicle. The portfolio comprises a concentrated selection of sustainable growth companies based or operating in Japan with top holdings including Daifuku, one of the world’s largest logistics solutions providers; global machinery franchise Keyence Corporation; and leading cosmetics company Pola Orbis Holdings Inc.
Richard Kaye, Portfolio Manager, Comgest Asset Management Japan, said: “Even with local offices, Comgest is very much considered a foreign fund manager in Japan, so it’s a big vote of confidence to attract domestic investors to our Japan equity strategy. The Japanese equity market has for too long been treated as a short-term value trade market, and there is an urgent need for managers who are excited about the sustainable growth stories that are changing Japan. Comgest has responded to this with its quality growth approach in Japanese equities, which has attracted significant interest from domestic institutional investors. As we continue to strengthen our presence in Japan, we are confident that our fundamental, concentrated approach to stock selection can offer untapped opportunities to long-term investors in the country, and abroad.’’
The Comgest Growth Japan UCITS fund, which has over USD444m AUM as of 29 September 2017, ranks in the first decile of its Morningstar comparison group for five-year performance*.
*Morningstar ranking for Comgest Growth Japan JPY ACC (IE0004767087) for the 5-year period ending 30/09/2017.