Quarterly Client Update: First Quarter 2024

Quarterly Client Update: First Quarter 2024

We provide regular strategy updates including portfolio changes and proxy voting, and links to our investment rationales, latest articles, statements, webcasts and videos which explore our thinking on sustainable investment, including the challenges and issues we grapple with in our search for high-quality companies.

Strategy updates: portfolio changes & proxy voting

Find out the latest updates on the strategies we manage including significant portfolio changes and proxy voting.

You can also build your own report by selecting individual strategies of interest.

News from the quarter

Introducing the Indian Subcontinent Sustainability VCC

We are excited to announce that our Indian Subcontinent Sustainability strategy, first launched in 2003, is now available to investors in the EEA and Switzerland as an Irish-domiciled VCC. Managed by Sashi Reddy and David Gait since inception, the fund leverages the team’s expertise and strong track record of investing across Asia. Holding between 30-60 investments at one time, the fund will focus on delivering strong absolute returns over cycles and invest in companies based in, or where the majority of the company’s activities take place in, the Indian subcontinent region.

Collaborative engagement update: Tackling conflict mineral content in the semiconductor supply chain

Since our previous quarterly update, in which we explained our efforts to build a strong relationship with the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI), we were delighted to become the inaugural member of the RMI Investor Network in February.1

Working alongside the RMI, we plan to develop this working group and connect both fellow investors and companies to build consensus around the need for the adoption of more effective due diligence frameworks across supply chains. We believe membership of the network will offer investors a deeper understanding of mineral supply chains and greater engagement credibility. Membership should enrich engagements and help to emphasise the importance of mineral traceability to company leaders.  

We are aware there is much still to be done in this space, but we look forward to continuing our collaboration with supporters and the RMI, and hope to see further progress in the coming months.

Industry initiative update: Future Asset

The aim of Future Asset is ’to inform girls in Scottish schools about the investment management industry, enthuse them about careers in the sector, and widen the talent pipeline to improve diversity in the industry.’

Stewart Investors founded Future Asset in 2017 and has supported it both financially and through involvement of our people since then. So far, Future Asset has engaged with over 1,800 girl students from over 220 schools in Scotland.

Their annual Growing Future Assets Investment Competition enables girls in Scottish schools to experience the role of an Investment Manager. In the first year of competition in 2020, there were 17 teams from 13 schools and 71 girls registered. In 2023/24 the participation has grown to 158 teams from 84 schools and 728 girls registered.

In the 2023/24 competition, investment team members Lorna Logan and Sarah Sheard were team mentors and Lorna was a judge in the Senior competition, presenting the winners’ award to the team from Preston Lodge High School in East Lothian. Many congratulations to them and to the Junior competition winners from Calderside Academy in South Lanarkshire, and everyone who took part.

We were delighted to be part of the competition and to encourage high school girls in Scotland to look at the world of investment and consider the industry for possible future careers.

Event update: Singapore Investment Forum

In March we hosted the first Stewart Investors Investment Forum in Singapore. It was a huge success, drawing on Stewart Investors’ 30-year track record and the expertise of our special guest speakers to tackle some of the critical questions and misconceptions surrounding sustainable investing.


1 Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI) Investor Network, launched in February 2024, RMI Investor Network (responsiblemineralsinitiative.org)

Global Emerging Markets Sustainability Strategy 15th anniversary

This February marked the fifteenth anniversary of Stewart Investors’ Global Emerging Markets Sustainability strategy.

Fifteen years ago, emerging markets investing was synonymous with resources, banks and telecoms. The most important companies were state-owned giants like Vale (Brazil), Gazprom (Russia), and China Mobile. There were relatively few genuinely innovative or globally competitive companies outside of materials extraction.

There has been a tremendous change in this regard. Emerging markets are now home to a raft of the world’s leading companies in fields as diverse as semiconductors, renewable energy technologies, software as a service, healthcare supplies, fintech and e-commerce.

Looking forward and on a bottom-up basis, the case for investing in emerging markets has never been stronger. The universe contains more quality companies than ever before and over the long term, this makes us very excited for what the next fifteen years can deliver in emerging markets.

Latest insights

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Select the strategies you are interested in. Strategy update and Proxy voting can also be split out. You can then download a copy of the report by clicking on the button.

Stewart Investors Quarterly Client Update Q1 2024

1 January- 31 March 2024

Risk factors

This material is a financial promotion for the Stewart Investors Sustainable Funds Group strategies – Asia Pacific and Japan Sustainability, Asia Pacific Leaders Sustainability, Asia Pacific Sustainability, European Sustainability, European (ex UK) Sustainability, Global Emerging Markets Sustainability, Global Emerging Markets Leaders Sustainability, Indian Subcontinent Sustainability, Worldwide Sustainability and Worldwide Leaders Sustainability – and is intended for professional clients only in the UK, Switzerland and EEA and professional clients elsewhere where lawful.

Within the EU/EEA and Switzerland, the European (ex UK) strategy is only available to investors via a segregated mandate account.

Investing involves certain risks including:

  • The value of investments and any income from them may go down as well as up and are not guaranteed. Investors may get back significantly less than the original amount invested.
  • Emerging market risk: Emerging markets tend to be more sensitive to economic and political conditions than developed markets. Other factors include greater liquidity risk, restrictions on investment or transfer of assets, failed/delayed settlement and difficulties valuing securities.
  • Indian Subcontinent risk: although India has seen rapid economic and structural development, investing there may still involve increased risks of political and governmental intervention, potentially limitations on the allocation of the strategy’s capital, and legal, regulatory, economic and other risks including greater liquidity risk, restrictions on investment or transfer of assets, failed/delayed settlement and difficulties valuing securities.
  • Specific region risk: investing in a specific region  may be riskier than investing in a number of different countries or regions. Investing in a larger number of countries or regions helps spread risk.
  • Currency risk: the strategies invest in assets which are denominated in other currencies; changes in exchange rates will affect the value of the strategies and could create losses. Currency control decisions made by governments could affect the value of the strategies’ investments and could cause the strategies to defer or suspend redemptions of shares.
  • Concentration risk: the European Sustainability and Worldwide Leaders Sustainability strategies referred to in this material invest in a relatively small number of companies which may be riskier than a strategy that invests in a large number of companies.
  • Smaller companies risk: investments in smaller companies may be riskier and more difficult to buy and sell than investments in larger companies.

Where featured, specific securities or companies are intended as an illustration of investment strategy only, and should not be construed as investment advice or a recommendation to buy or sell any security.

If you are in any doubt as to the suitability of our strategies for your investment needs, please seek investment advice.

Investment philosophy

  • We are stewards: Our role is to allocate society’s capital to productive uses, in accordance with our Hippocratic Oath
  • We are long term: Our time horizon is measured in years, not weeks, and we value companies accordingly
  • We invest only in companies contributing to a more sustainable future: We engage constructively as owners to help companies on their sustainability journeys
  • We invest only in high-quality companies: We seek out companies with exceptional cultures, strong franchises and resilient financials
  • We believe capital preservation is important for capital growth: We define risk as the possibility of the permanent loss of client capital

Investment objective

To generate attractive long-term, risk-adjusted returns by investing in the shares of high-quality companies that are particularly well positioned to contribute to, and benefit from sustainable development.

Important information

This material is for general information purposes only. It does not constitute investment or financial advice and does not take into account any specific investment objectives, financial situation or needs. This is not an offer to provide asset management services, is not a recommendation or an offer or solicitation to buy, hold or sell any security or to execute any agreement for portfolio management or investment advisory services and this material has not been prepared in connection with any such offer. Before making any investment decision you should conduct your own due diligence and consider your individual investment needs, objectives and financial situation and read the relevant offering documents for details including the risk factors disclosure. Any person who acts upon, or changes their investment position in reliance on, the information contained in these materials does so entirely at their own risk.

We have taken reasonable care to ensure that this material is accurate, current, and complete and fit for its intended purpose and audience as at the date of publication but the information contained in the material may be subject to change thereafter without notice.

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To the extent this material contains any expression of opinion or forward-looking statements, such opinions and statements are based on assumptions, matters and sources believed to be true and reliable at the time of publication only. This material reflects the views of the individual writers only. Those views may change, may not prove to be valid and may not reflect the views of everyone at First Sentier Investors.

Past performance is not indicative of future performance. All investment involves risks and the value of investments and the income from them may go down as well as up and you may not get back your original investment. Actual outcomes or results may differ materially from those discussed. Readers must not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements as there is no certainty that conditions current at the time of publication will continue. 

References to specific securities (if any) are included for the purpose of illustration only and should not be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell the same. Any securities referenced may or may not form part of the holdings of First Sentier Investors’ portfolios at a certain point in time, and the holdings may change over time.

References to comparative benchmarks or indices (if any) are for illustrative and comparison purposes only, may not be available for direct investment, are unmanaged, assume reinvestment of income, and have limitations when used for comparison or other purposes because they may have volatility, credit, or other material characteristics (such as number and types of securities) that are different from the funds managed by First Sentier Investors.

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This material is neither directed at nor intended to be accessed by persons resident in, or citizens of any country, 

or types or categories of individual where to allow such access would be unlawful or where it would require any registration, filing, application for any licence or approval or other steps to be taken by First Sentier Investors in order to  comply with local laws or regulatory requirements in such country.

About First Sentier Investors

References to ‘we’, ‘us’ or ‘our’ are references to First Sentier Investors, a global asset management business which 

is ultimately owned by Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG). Certain of our investment teams operate under the trading names FSSA Investment Managers, Stewart Investors and Realindex Investments, all of which are part of the First Sentier Investors Group.

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  • United Kingdom by First Sentier Investors (UK) Funds Limited, authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (reg. no. 2294743; reg office Finsbury Circus House, 15 Finsbury Circus, London EC2M 7EB).
  • European Economic Area by First Sentier Investors (Ireland) Limited, authorised and regulated in Ireland by the Central Bank of Ireland (CBI reg no. C182306; reg office 70 Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, Dublin 2, Ireland; reg company no. 629188).
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