Citywire + rated Desai (pictured) is leaving Neptune to join an unnamed boutique preparing to launch an emerging markets fund, while Smith has been promoted to co-head of EM alongside AA-rated Ewan Thompson.
In a statement, Neptune said: ‘Tom and Ewan have worked closely together for many years and Tom has been one of the contributing factors to the outstanding performance of Ewan’s Neptune Emerging Markets fund.
‘Tom is taking over as manager of the Neptune India fund with immediate effect and we are very excited to see the benefits that his fund management skills can bring to the fund.
‘Ewan, who in the past has run the Neptune India fund, remains number two on the Neptune India fund.’
Desai has delivered a total return of 46.7% on the India fund over the past three years, compared to the sector average of 48.2%.
Over three years to April 2018 in Latin American equities, Smith has returned 53.5% compared to the peer group average of 30.1%.