The New Year marks an important milestone for Milltrust International  Group as we approach our 5th birthday. We now have three quite distinct legs to the business. This provides our group with a more resilient platform for the future than a single area of focus. Each is driven by a secular trend which will perpetuate the long term opportunity, and play to our strengths and individual skill sets.

Emerging Markets Investment Solutions

The building out of a new and innovative Emerging Markets platform (“EMMA”) has been challenging of course. This past 18 months we have seen the biggest exodus from EM equities since the crisis in the late 90. Nonetheless, we have managed to add a manager a quarter since we launched the business mid 2012, and our Global Emerging Markets Fund “GEMS”, based on high alpha managers and judicious asset allocation across our selection of regulated, transparent funds (our unique source of “double alpha”), has more than preserved capital, delivering significant outperformance versus the benchmark and our peer group*. We have been finalists in a number of major institutional beauty parades in 2015 and we expect the tide to turn in 2016 and our platform to win more adherents.

Individually, our managers have gain recognition from Citywire and Morningstar ratings, with our China Fund rated 3 stars by Morningstar and our Latin America Fund gaining a coveted 4 stars. In 2016 all our core funds will be eligible for a rating, as they approach their three year track record.

Our ASEAN Fund managed by Lion Global Investors in Singapore was ranked No 1 by Morningstar for 2015, and Citywire affirmed a + rating for Alan Tan, manager of the Milltrust ASEAN Fund, and also for ITAU’s Scott Piper, manager of the MILLTRUST LATAM Fund.

These managers, along with the other manager we have selected, are likely to be the winners going forward, as investors move from investing with the big global emerging markets funds which have done so poorly, to allocating across regional markets. Emerging Markets are today characterised one from the other by quite different drivers, and can no longer be sensibly lumped into a single bucket. Our platform approach permits investors to get the diversification they are seeking but differentiate between winners and losers.

MILLTRUST Agricultural Investments 

On the Agri side, Milltrust’s consistent commitment to the increasingly important asset class has now been rewarded with a major mandate from a UK public pension fund. We have also been mandated by a quasi-governmental entity to run a significant JV initiative starting next year, in addition to being appointed to sell a major asset for a sovereign fund from the GCC. We are also in advanced talks to launch a new food fund on our platform with a USD 40 million seed contribution for one of the largest family-owned asset managers in the GCC.

Wealth Management Solutions

Finally,  the launch of East India Capital Management in 2015 marked another exciting innovation for our group. This business will give us an avenue to pursue a new client base for our fund management offering. We are now empanelled by EFG, DBS and Bank of Singapore and we are moving forward with a number of other international private banks. We are launching a client-driven fund initiative for the acquisition of some significant hospitality assets, South Asia Hospitality Trust, and have every confidence that by the end of this year we will have significant assets under management in total.

The wealth business has opened up a myriad of new investment opportunities which we are working on. Typically, these may be too small for the institutional market but they are high octane investments that if successful can still generate meaningful attractive returns for our clients. Our robust fund platform in Ireland enables us to house client assets in the safety of a regulated vehicle, and syndicate transactions amongst other investors that we or the clients identify. We have also launched a Cayman fund solution.

Wishing all our clients and service providers a happy and prosperous New Year.