First State has confirmed that it will revert to its original plans for the Scottish Oriental Smaller Companies trust after they were interrupted by maternity leave.
Following the retirement of Susie Rippingall in April 2013, First State had intended for Wee Li Hee to become the £269 million fund’s principal stock selector.
However, due to Hee’s maternity leave Scottish Oriental has been run in the interval by Citywire + rated Angus Tulloch – who managed the trust from its inception in 1995 until Rippingall took over in 2000 – and AA-rated Martin Lau.
Lau will now step back from the trust on 1 July, when Hee will return to take primary responsibility for stock selection. Tulloch (pictured) will remain as co-manager.
Scottish Oriental stated that Lau, as part of the wider First State team, would nevertheless ‘continue to generate investment ideas for consideration’ by Hee and Tulloch.
Hee joined First State in Singapore in 2002 as an analyst, and in 2007 became a deputy manager on several institutional mandates.
Last year Scottish Oriental tweaked its mandate to permit the managers to invest in larger cap firms, moving from focusing on those smaller than $1 billion (£607 million) to those below $1.5 billion (£910 million).
Over the past three years, Scottish Oriental has returned 38.9%, compared with 2.6% from the MSCI Asia excluding Japan Small Cap index.