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Witan continues high conviction drive and hands Matthews Asia £110m portfolio

Witan continues high conviction drive and hands Matthews Asia £110m portfolio

Witan Investment Trust has appointed Matthews Asia to manage a £110 million segregated portfolio.

The portfolio will be focused on the Asia Pacific region, including Japan, with the change taking effect from 20th February.

Matthews Asia is the largest dedicated Asia investment specialist in the US and has been actively investing in the region since 1991.  It has some $20.9 billion in assets, invested across a range of Asia Pacific equity and bond strategies.

Announcing the change, Witan said its new mandate would be run in line with the Matthews Asia Dividend strategy and represent roughly 9% of the trust's portfolio.

It will replace the Asia portfolio previously managed by Comgest (around 6.5% of Witan's assets), whose remit excluded Japan.

Andrew Bell, chief executive of Witan, said the appointment of Matthews Asia reflects his belief Asia's economies have become 'increasingly interdependent', and is part of a wider plan to bring on board more specialised, high conviction managers at Witan.

Bell (pictured) explained: 'The appointment of Matthews Asia reflects our belief that Asia's economies have become increasingly interdependent and although Witan has benefited from being substantially underweight in Japan in recent years this will not always be the case.

'We therefore believe having a manager with the ability to allocate capital actively on the basis of stock-specific factors across the entire region is preferable to predetermining allocations to Japan and Asia separately.'

Bell added: 'Matthews' approach is to concentrate on choosing companies across the whole of the Asia Pacific region that offer attractive and growing dividend-paying characteristics.'

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