Following news that Gary Greenberg will be stepping back from running the £3.9bn Hermes Global Emerging Markets and Global Emerging Markets SMID Equity funds and passing on lead portfolio manager duties to co-portfolio manager Kunjal Gala, Lauren Mason speaks to the duo about their experience working together and what the future holds for both of them.
Gary Greenberg first "got the bug" for emerging markets in Chicago in 1989, when his then-boss became "fascinated with China" at a time when international investing was "still a very new thing" and emerging market investing was "almost unknown".
"We started looking at Chinese companies listed in Hong Kong. That's how I became so interested [in EM] - because the potential was just so enormous," he told Investment Week.
"But in those days, it was just all potential. You could dream and of course, a lot of investing is based on building castles in the air.
"But then we had the tremendous year in 1993 where the emerging market index doubled. There seemed to be a lot to play for."
Greenberg's career took him to Hong Kong in 1994 and, after developing "a fascination with India", he launched an Indian Smaller Companies fund.
"The firm was managed out of Hong Kong but our main advisory contact on the ground in India was a firm called Quest Investment Advisors, and the number two guy there was Hasmukh Gala."
Greenberg and Gala - who was head of research at Quest and had a background in management accounting for multinational businesses based in India - spent several years travelling around the country together and seeking out smaller companies to invest in - a process Greenberg described as "a real learning curve".
The pair kept in touch for many years and when Greenberg heard his son Kunjal Gala - who also had an accountancy background as well as investment banking expertise - was moving from India to London in the early 2000s, he became acquainted with him too.
Greenberg began working at Federated Hermes - then called Hermes - some ten years later to overhaul its Hermes Global Emerging Markets fund and, less than one year after he joined the firm, he hired Gala as an Asian equity analyst.
"I knew him. I knew he had a grounded, thoughtful manner and way of looking and thinking about things. I also knew that his background was really well considered," Greenberg explained.
"His father had given him very good career advice over the years, which led him to have a wealth of important experience and thorough training."
This advice from father Hasmukh meant Gala had a "less conventional" entry point into the world of asset management, according to the future successor of the firm's Global Emerging Markets and Global Emerging Markets SMID Equities funds.
"I interned at the firm my dad worked at in the late 1990s while I was still pursuing my undergraduate degree in India. At that time, I realised I wanted to be an analyst and ultimately an investment manager," he explained.
"But my dad warned me not to even think of investing at that time, because I needed to understand how the real world works for a good ten to 15 years.
"I took his advice and I forgot about investing. I started pursuing my chartered accountancy in India and I worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers.
"Looking back, everything I learned at PwC is still relevant today - I learned what sort of mischief companies get up to when they construct their financial statements and how accounts are finalised at the very last moment because somebody needs to meet their targets, for example."