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Henderson eager for SMSF traction with new fund

Henderson Global Investors has made available a global emerging markets equity fund with a view to attracting significant fund flows from the retail sector, including SMSF investors.

Launched in July, the Henderson Global Emerging Markets Equity Fund gives investors access to a portfolio comprised of 40 to 80 shares in companies spaning a variety of industry sectors and geographic regions.

Henderson Global Investors head of emerging markets equities Glen Finegan explained the opportunities presented by emerging markets were twofold.

“On our slightly longer-term horizon we still think that valuations of many of the companies that we like to look at look reasonably attractive,” Finegan said.

“[In addition] investing in emerging markets is quite favourable in the perspective of global population dynamics.

“Most of the people in the world live in emerging markets. There are 7 million people in the world give or take and 6 [million] of them live in emerging markets.

“On a 20-or-so-year view, it’s forecast world population might peak at 9 billion and all of that growth happens in emerging markets.”

The fund will invest in companies listed in emerging markets as well as companies with substantial exposure to emerging market economies, but not geographically located within those regions.

Henderson Global Investors Australian head of distribution Matt Gaden said the unique nature of the fund might help attract interest from the SMSF sector.

“Recognition that the fund is significantly differentiated [from other offerings] may also help us with the unadvised sector, being mainly the self-managed super sector,” Gaden said.

“If we’re sufficiently differentiated, if we’re doing something that an SMSF trustee would find hard to replicate themselves, then maybe we have a chance [to appeal to that sector].”

He admitted an educative approach to emerging market investing as part of the broader issue of increased international markets exposure for SMSF portfolios was important.

“The education effort has been significant and there is an understanding that diversity away from the Australian market is important increasingly, albeit the greatest anchor is obviously franking credits,” he said.

“We’ve got to make a case that puts it at least on par if not somewhere ahead of [dividend imputation].”

The manager said it had not ruled out developing a listed offering at some point in the future if demand required it.

The minimum investment amount for the fund is $25,000 and it is currently in the process of being rated by a number of research houses with a view for its inclusion on a few of the major platforms and advisory dealer group approved product lists.

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