William Blair Investment Management launches Local Currency SICAV Fund

William Blair Investment Management has launched an Emerging Markets Debt Local Currency SICAV Fund to provide investors with exposure to the attractive opportunity set within emerging markets across the world.

The new fund will invest in local currencies and local interest rates of emerging market countries, utilising bottom-up and top-down analysis to assess performance drivers across the Americas, Central and Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East and identify those securities able to deliver superior risk-adjusted returns.

The fund is managed by Lewis Jones, Dan Wood, Yvette Babb and Johnny Chen, supported by a wider specialist emerging markets debt team, itself led by Marcelo Assalin, CFA, and Marco Ruijer, CFA. It follows the successful launch of an Emerging Markets Debt Hard Currency SICAV Fund in April 2020.

The launch marks a further expansion of the suite of William Blair strategies available to European investors. As of 31 March 2020, the company manages USD1.915 billion of assets across Global Leaders, Global Leaders SRI, US Small-Mid Cap Growth, US Small-Mid Cap Core, US All Cap Growth, Emerging Markets Growth, Emerging Markets Leaders, Emerging Markets Small Cap Growth, Dynamic Diversified Allocation, and Emerging Markets Debt Hard Currency SICAV vehicles.

“Despite the recent Covid-19 pandemic, fundamentals within emerging market debt remain both very strong and underappreciated, creating an attractive entry point into the asset class and substantial investment opportunities,” says Marcelo Assalin, CFA, Head of Emerging Markets Debt at William Blair Investment Management. “With a considerable portion of the investible EMD universe trading below what we perceive to be fair value, there has rarely been such an attractive opportunity for long-term investors to benefit from exposure to these developing markets.”

“We have seen significant interest from asset owners in our specialist emerging markets debt capabilities, and the launch of a local currency fund is therefore a natural extension to our existing offering,” says Tom Ross, Head of International Distribution at William Blair Investment Management. “We are pleased to further expand our well-established emerging markets franchise and provide investors with the opportunity to benefit from the experience and strong track record of our EMD team.”