Threadneedle Investments is to roll out two Africa strategies through a tie-up with South African investment manager Stanlib.Under the promotion and referral agreement, Threadneedle will offer access to Stanlib's Africa strategies and the South African firm will similarly offer African investors access to Threadneedle’s fund range.
Threadneedle will roll out Stanlib's Africa ex South Africa equity strategy, alongside global emerging market property and direct property investment opportunities.
Michael Housden, head of Middle East and Africa distribution at Threadneedle, commented: 'We are delighted to be able to offer investors across the globe access to African strategies which invest in some of the fastest growing and still largely untapped markets in the world.
Dylan Evans, Stanlib's head of international business development, added: 'Collectively, Africa’s economy is around $2 trillion and is expected to reach $2.6 trillion by 2020.
'The continent counts some of the world’s fastest growing economies. Yet, very few of the largest 200 pension funds in the UK and Europe are known to have any dedicated exposure to Africa.'
He added: 'However, a well-diversified African portfolio can be profitable for investors even when individual markets are under pressure, different African markets being driven by different dynamics.
'The outlook for 2014 is promising, with Africa’s GDP growth expected to grow by around 5.5% in 2014, the average rate over the past decade—faster than any other region in the world, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit.
'An investment in Africa is certainly likely to be more volatile than in other markets but we believe Africa's superior growth prospects and under-representation in investors' portfolios create many opportunities for long-term investors.'
The two investment managers have been working closely since August 2012, when Threadneedle was awarded a mandate in excess of $800 million in global and emerging market equity and global balanced portfolios to run on behalf of Stanlib. Today, Threadneedle manages just over $1 billion on behalf of the firm.