Lombard Odier Investment Managers has launched its Emerging Consumer fund into the UK.
The $319.56 million fund was launched in Switzerland in October last year, but the group is now making it available to investors in a number of European countries.
Managed by Didier Rabattu (pictured), it is designed to tap into the growing middle class in emerging economies in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
The fund is heavily weighted to the retail and consumer goods sectors, with key positions in restaurants, food retail, beer and spirits, food manufacturing and luxury goods.
Rabattu has 25 years’ experience as a consumer and retail analyst and portfolio manager, having previously worked in similar roles at SG Warburg and Deutsche Bank and he is supported by a four-strong research team, which includes a dedicated risk manager.
Although it is a predominantly a long-only equity fund, the manager has the freedom to hold cash and options giving it more of an absolute return rather than an index-focused benchmark.
‘Traditionally long-only fund managers pick stocks and then watch them go up or down, that’s history, Rabattu says. ‘We adapt our thematic research to the macro environment and a strict risk approach which always worries about how much the portfolio might lose, the weight of positions and the effect of currencies.’
Investor appetite for the emerging consumer theme is strong as has been seen with the success of the Morgan Stanley Global Brands fund, which predominantly plays the theme through developed market companies, and has built up assets of $8.8 billion since launch back in 2000.
Over the 12 months to the end of October the Lombard Odier fund has returned 18.61% compared to a 2.98% rise in the MSCI Emerging Market index.