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Mobius steps back as Templeton Emerging revives

Mark Mobius relinquishes control of Templeton Emerging Markets Group amid signs of recovery in its flagship investment trust.

 
Mobius steps back as Templeton Emerging revives

Emerging markets pioneer Mark Mobius has taken another step back from investment management amid early signs of a recovery in the flagship Templeton Emerging Markets (TEM ) investment trust he ran for 26 years until last summer.

Having relinquished the lead manager role for Templeton Emerging Markets last July, Mobius (pictured above) has now handed over day-to-day responsibility for its management company, the Templeton Emerging Markets Group (TEMG), which he established nearly 30 years ago.

Although Mobius is not retiring and will remain executive chairman of TEMG, control of the division within the Franklin Templeton Investments group will pass to Stephen Dover in a new role as chief investment officer (CIO) from 15 April.

Dover is currently CIO of Franklin Local Asset Management, a separate unit that oversees the strategic stakes Franklin Templeton has bought in investment firms around the world and which has its own emerging markets team.

Dover (pictured) will use his dual CEO role to increase collaboration between the emerging markets teams, taking overall responsibility for investment strategy and individual fund managers, such as Carlos Hardenberg, who succeeded Mobius as lead manager on the £1.3 billion Templeton Emerging Markets trust.

The changes come amid a rebound in emerging markets that has seen shares in Templeton Emerging Markets advance 14% in the past six months, ahead of its benchmark, the MSCI Emerging Markets index, which is up 12.3%.

Although some analysts have been impressed with Hardenberg’s efforts to overhaul the portfolio and improve stock selection, the trust remains out of favour with investors following a 28% decline in the share price over five years.

The shares trade nearly 15% below net asset value, their widest discount since the 2008 financial crisis enabling Lazard Asset Management, a leading investor in undervalued trusts, to build a 10% stake.

Mobius, who founded TEMG in 1987 and launched Templeton Emerging Markets two years later, will now largely act in an advisory role and expand his activities as a company spokesman, the group said.

Although the veteran fund manager retains a role on many funds and remains a portfolio manager on the investment trust alongside Hardenberg and Chetan Sehgal, following a reshuffle in January he now has deputies and co-managers on all his other funds, such as the $5.4 billion Templeton Asian Growth fund in Luxembourg, which he now jointly runs with Allan Lam.

Dover joined Franklin Templeton in 1997 and is also the Citywire A-rated manager of its Franklin World Perspectives fund.

1 comment so far. Why not have your say?

Awesome Dave

Mar 30, 2016 at 09:57

And not before time. How the mighty have fallen. Well past his "use by" date. I see he "will now largely act in an advisory role". The best advice he can give is to ignore his advice and all will be well.

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