First State builds new EM debt offering around new F&C hire

First State assembles EM debt team around F&C’s Williamson


The move underpins the Australian manager’s aspirations to offer onshore fixed income in the UK, where it plans to launch two funds with a debt focus.

Helene Williamson will start her new role in early September. Based in London, she will be supported by four new investment specialists in London and members of First State’s existing global fixed interest and credit team, based out of Hong Kong. 

Williamson has been integral to F&C’s fixed income team for over a decade, serving as its head of emerging market debt for 15 years as well as five years as head of fixed income.

Williamson will report to Gary Withers, regional managing director for EMEA at First State.

“We are delighted that our new team will be headed by Helene, a very experienced fund manager with an excellent track record, who is highly respected in the industry,” said Withers. “Her appointment marks a significant expansion of our capabilities for investors in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and potentially other parts of the world.”

In Sydney, First State is part of Colonial First State Global Asset Management where it has been running fixed income portfolios for over a decade and currently has a total of £33.4bn of assets under its management in credit, fixed interest and cash.