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Newton poaches outperforming EM duo from AXA as AA-rated PM exits

The UK fund house adds experienced investors to its emerging markets and Asian equities unit.

Newton poaches outperforming EM duo from AXA as AA-rated PM exits

Newton Investment Management has hired Citywire + rated managers Paul Birchenough and Ian Smith from AXA Investment Managers, while Citywire AA-rated Robert Marshall-Lee will leave Newton at the end of next month.

Birchenough and Smith will officially join the UK group’s emerging markets and Asian equity franchise on 19 October. They had been co-running the Axa Framlington Emerging Markets fund prior to their departure.

In their new capacity, the duo will work alongside Sophia Whitbread, who is co-lead across £1.5bn (€1.65bn) of emerging market and Asian equity funds, which includes the BNY Mellon Global Emerging Markets fund. Sahil Mali will serve as an investment analyst on this team.

Marshall-Lee, who had been with the company for 21 years, steps down having been lead portfolio manager across the company’s emerging market and Asian equities. He is named across five funds in the Citywire database, covering emerging markets, Asian equity and EM income.

He had also risen to a position of prominence in 2015 when he replaced Jason Pidcock on several strategies. Pidcock left to join Jupiter Asset Management after several years at Newton overseeing large-scale strategies.

Commenting on the hires, Curt Custard, chief investment officer at Newton, said: ‘Paul and Ian are highly experienced investment professionals that share our focus on fundamental stock selection and, importantly, our strong conviction for investing with a long-term, thematic approach and full ESG integration.’

Newton added that it has also recruited three analysts to join its central research team. Connor Middleton joins as global financials analyst from JP Morgan, Fei Zhou Chen joins as a global analyst from PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Jonny Urwin joins from UBS as global insurance analyst.

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