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Ashmore co-founder launches EM fund boutique

Ashmore co-founder launches EM fund boutique

Ashmore co-founder Dr Jerome Booth has launched a new specialist emerging market investment boutique through his private office New Sparta.

Called New Sparta Asset Management, Booth will serve as its chairman and chair of its investment committee.

Mark Weiller, who spent 10 years at Ashmore including roles as head of product and client management, has been named head of distribution with Ousméne Mandeng, a former senior International Monetary Fund (IMF) official, taking the role of head of research and development.

Both will sit on the investment committee, alongside economist and Sunday Telegraph columnist Liam Halligan and Chris Raeder, general counsel, who previously worked at Ashmore and ANZ Banking Group beforehand.

The company will invest throughout emerging markets but will focus initially on renewable and conventional energy projects in Africa.

Booth says he has identified a 'bottleneck' within Sub-Saharan energy production and investing in this market via a private equity fund will precede further fund launches next year.

He added the company will not target public equity due to these markets' small size compared to their relative GDP.

Tower Gate Capital will provide management and regulatory support to the boutique.

'New Sparta Asset Management is about private markets in emerging markets,' said Booth.

'Combined with early-life cycle development experience, we will use our insight and expertise to unlock growth and create sustainable returns. Investing by using specialist sector knowledge enables us to design and influence our investments, so increasing our control and reducing risk.'

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