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EM specialist acquires ex-First State and Invesco men's boutique

EM specialist acquires ex-First State and Invesco men's boutique

Blackfriars Asset Management, which is owned by a firm in the BNY Mellon family, is to absorb BDT Invest, an Asia specialist formed by First State and Invesco alumni.

Managers Simon Dobson, Stephen Simmons and Henry Thornton – the latter + rated by Citywire – will transfer over to Blackfriars. Their funds will be rebranded with the Blackfriars name.

The £30 million BDT Invest Asian Focus fund is to become the Blackfriars Asian Focus fund. Co-managed by Dobson, Thornton and Rob Brewis, the fund has returned 8.7% over the past three years compared with 6.4% from the MSCI AC Asia Pacific index.

The team’s £16 million BDT Invest Oriental Focus fund – whose mandate excludes Japan – has returned 6.4% over the same period, versus the MSCI AC Asia ex Japan index’s fall of 0.7%.

The BDT Invest Japanese Focus fund, which had less than £5 million of assets under management and was run by Dobson, is to close.

The trio co-founded BDT in 2000. Thornton (pictured) was formerly head of emerging markets at Colonial First State Investments, while Dobson was head of the South East Asian investment team at GT Management – which later became Invesco.

Brewis was also formerly a senior fund manager at Colonial First State. Wealth Manager understands he will not be joining his colleagues at Blackfriars.

Blackfriars was established in 1998, originally as the global emerging markets team of WestAM that was subsequently acquired by the BNY Mellon group. It is now a subsidiary of the Hamon Investment Group, which part owned by BNY Mellon.

It has almost £200 million of assets under management and runs the BNY Mellon Emerging Markets Equity, BNY Mellon Compass Global Emerging Markets, and BNY Mellon Compass Eastern Europe Diversified funds.

The Blackfriars team includes Citywire + rated Glen Prentice, who heads the Eastern Europe fund, and its chief executive Tom Waring is also a former First State chief executive.

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Tony Hann
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152/175 in Equity - Asia Pacific Excluding Japan (Performance over 1 year) Average Total Return: 0.71%
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126/135 in Equity - Asia Pacific Excluding Japan (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 19.85%
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