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Asia veteran Robert Lloyd George partners with Argos on launch of the Bamboo Fund

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Argos Investment Management is partnering with a new asset management company headed by emerging markets veteran Robert Lloyd George to target professional investors with a new, long only, UCITS fund focused on emerging market high growth sectors.

Argos focuses on bringing talented investment professionals to its clients and is very happy to bring Robert Lloyd George, one of Asia’s best known managers, back to investors in Europe. The great-grandson of David Lloyd George, UK prime minister from 1916 to 1922, Robert began a distinguished career in London in the 1970s with Coutts & Co, moving on to work in both Paris and Brazil for several years.
 
In 1984 Robert Lloyd George became managing director of IndoSuez Asia Investment Services in Hong Kong. In 1991 he founded Lloyd George Management in Hong Kong with partners including Boston-based Eaton Vance, the Swiss bank Mirabaud and Sal Oppenheim in Germany, growing AUM across a range of top performing funds to some US$17 billion by 2007.
 
Lloyd George Management was sold to Bank of Montreal in January 2011 and Lloyd George retired from the firm at the end of April last year. Lloyd George Advisory (HK) Ltd (Lloyd George Advisory) is his latest venture. 
 
Argos CEO Jean Keller, says: “The link with the new company continues our mission to attract the best possible talent from around the world. We aim to revive the era when there was an intellectual focus on high alpha produced by outstanding managers, mainly through boutique structures.”
 
“Robert is a serial entrepreneur and an investing legend in Asia. He understands, as we do, that the main function of capital is to support growing companies. We prioritise an investment-led as opposed to distribution-led culture and I think that is what has attracted Robert to work with us.”
 
Evrard Didier has joined Lloyd George Advisory as Director and Head of Marketing. He previously worked with Lloyd George in Europe from 2007. He says: “Lloyd George Advisory has a new strategy for emerging markets. We have gone from the early concept of investing by country, according to indices, to the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) concept, which doesn’t make sense anymore.”
 
“We have been looking for a new horizontal investment strategy to fit changing markets. Lloyd George Advisory will therefore invest across sectors, picking the best stocks from those countries with high growth, so delivering higher growth rates than the overall GDP rate in emerging countries.”
 
The US-dollar denominated Argos Lloyd George Advisory Bamboo Fund is the first from Lloyd George Advisory. The fund name derives from the qualities of the plant, which are also those the manager believes are necessary to flourish in unpredictable markets: toughness, flexibility, hardiness and grace, manifested through a strong ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) policy.
 
It is an actively managed, long-only fund which aims to create value through the selection of a portfolio of 40-50 listed stocks, a low turnover (around 20 per cent) and a yield of up to 3 per cent. It will be at least 70 per cent invested in Asia and South East Asia, with the MSCI Emerging Markets Index as Benchmark. Targeted performance is 12 per cent per annum.
 
The investment strategy will result from top down and mainly bottom up analysis, taking into account political and economic factors as well as the specific characteristics of investible companies. Weekly investment committee meetings will discuss all potential holdings. Cash flow, yield, PE, management quality and sustainability will be the key criteria for stock selection.
 
The fund will be conservatively invested with tight controls over country risk, liquidity and governance. There is no leverage, no shorting and no currency hedging. Cash will usually be at 5 per cent, up to a maximum of 25 per cent when markets are down. There is mandatory diversification by country, sector and stock holdings. The portfolio can be liquidated in three days.

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