Emerging market and Asian equities portfolio manager Rob Marshall-Lee will leave Newton Investment Management after 21 years, to be replaced by AXA Investment Managers’ Paul Birchenough and Ian Smith.
Birchenough and Smith, who will join the firm on 19 October, will head up Newton's £1.5bn suite of emerging market and Asian equity strategies including the £234m BNY Mellon Global Emerging Markets fund alongside Sophia Whitbread, who is currently alternate manager on the fund.
Marshall-Lee will continue to manage the portfolios until 30 October and remain with Newton until 30 November to support the portfolio and client transition to the new management team.
Birchenough and Smith had previously co-managed the £93m AXA Framlington Emerging Markets fund for five and-a-half years, having joined AXA IM in 2011 and 2012 respectively from global emerging markets equity specialist hedge fund Nevsky Capital.
Newton CIO Curt Custard said the pair were "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".
"Emerging market and Asian equities are a core part of Newton's capabilities," Custard continued. "They are joining Newton as we continue to grow our proposition in the asset class and we look forward to welcoming them."
The CIO said the company was "grateful for [Marshall-Lee's] contribution to the firm over the last 21 years and we wish him all the best in the future".
BNY Mellon Investment Management's head of UK intermediary Michael Beveridge added: "Emerging market and Asian equities contribute to investors' portfolios through superior growth prospects and overall equity outperformance, when compared to more developed markets.
"We believe that successful investing in the asset class is best achieved through a highly active and concentrated approach focused on rigorous stock-specific analysis. Paul and Ian have extensive expertise in these areas and will be a significant addition to Newton's investment team."
Birchenough, Smith and Whitbread will be supported by investment analyst Sahil Mali and the firm's wider equity opportunity team.
Paul and Ian will, alongside Sophia Whitbread, co-lead Newton's £1.5 billion emerging market and Asian equities strategies, including the BNY Mellon Global Emerging Markets fund. They will be supported by investment analyst, Sahil Mali, and the wider equity opportunities team.
Newton also added three analysts to its central research team, which it said was the engine of its idea generation across all of its investment strategies.
Connor Middleton joins as global financials analyst from J.P. Morgan, Fei Zhou Chen joins as a global analyst from PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Jonny Urwin joins from UBS as global insurance analyst.