Ex-Franklin Templeton pair named founding partners in Mobius launch

Mark Mobius has formally confirmed former Franklin Templeton colleagues Carlos Hardenberg and Greg Konieczny as founding partners in his eponymous boutique firm, as details of the planned emerging and frontier markets fund are revealed.

Ex-Franklin Templeton pair named founding partners in Mobius launch

The Luxembourg-based Sicav will launch with initial seed funding from the partners and external investors. UBS will be fund administrator and UBS Fund Management will be a partner of the firm.

Once launched the fund will look to tap the growing  focus on responsible investing, using MSCI and proprietary research to take a environmental, social and governance (ESG) approach, with a aim to improve corporate governance in emerging and frontier companies. It also aims to make a measurable impact for good in society and the environment.

The firm is currently waiting on Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF) approval for the Sicav.

Impact target

Mobius, a titan of emerging markets with over 30 years active management experience, emphasised the fund’s commitment to investing for good and achieving impact in countries “where it is needed most”.

He said: “During my career as an emerging markets investor, I have always been a passionate advocate on corporate governance issues. In Carlos and Greg, I have two partners with an enviable legacy and track record. Our combined knowledge and on-the-ground experience in sustainable investing is what sets us apart, and gives us the leading edge in delivering the changes we want to see in Emerging and Frontier Markets.”

Hardenburg (pictured) was Mobius’s successor on the Templeton Emerging Markets Investment Trust. He was praised for delivering turnaround performance in the investment trust, following a period of underperformance. He has lived in Warsaw, Singapore and Istanbul and moved to London in 2016.

Konieczny has 25 years experience in research and portfolio management with a strong focus on emerging Europe.

Active ownership

Hardenberg emphasised they aim to make “meaningful and measurable” improvements to investee companies. “We will utilise an active ownership approach to portfolio companies acting as catalysts for ESG improvements. Our strategy will champion governance and will reach beyond simple exclusion screens or norms-based screens,” he said.

Meanwhile, Konieczny drew on his experience investing in Eastern Europe to explain the financial impacts of applying ESG to the investing process in emerging and frontier markets.

Konieczny said: “It is my longstanding view that partnering with a company’s management to focus on improving governance is a major source of positive and sustainable financial returns. Furthermore, this shareholder stewardship also has an impact on public sector policies and increases awareness of proper governance codes. This has been a recurring theme over my career investing in Eastern Europe since the fall of the iron curtain, and in particular over the last seven years engaging with Romanian corporations.”

 

 

 

 

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