Matthews Asia Q&A Regarding the Matthews Asia ESG Fund Name Change to the Matthews Emerging Markets Sustainable Future Fund
July 29, 2022
What change is taking place to the Matthews Asia ESG Fund?
On July 29, 2022, the name of the Matthews Asia ESG Fund changed to the Matthews Emerging Markets Sustainable Future Fund. The principal investment strategy is revised to be consistent with the new name, including the manner in which the Fund is required to invest its assets.
The Matthews Emerging Markets Sustainable Future Fund will, as a result of the name change, also change its principal investment strategy so that it will invest, under normal circumstances, at least 80% of its net assets in the common and preferred stocks of companies located in emerging market countries that satisfy one or more of its environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) standards. Up to 20% of the Fund’s net assets may be invested in companies that do not satisfy its ESG standards.
Why are you changing the name of the Matthews Asia ESG Fund?
Approximately 80% of the companies comprising the emerging markets investment universe (based on the MSCI Emerging Markets Index as of June 30, 2022) are located in Asia. There is an increasing overlap between an investment strategy focused on the emerging market countries and one focused on the Asian region. We believe the expanded investment universe also may increase the investment opportunities available to the portfolio management team and may provide the Fund with a more geographically diverse investment strategy for investors.
Is there a change to the Matthews Emerging Markets Sustainable Fund’s objective?
The Fund’s investment objective of seeking long-term capital appreciation remains unchanged.
Who will be the portfolio managers for the Matthews Emerging Markets Sustainable Future Fund?
Vivek Tanneeru will remain the Lead Manager of the renamed Matthews Emerging Markets Sustainable Future Fund. Kathlyn Collins will continue to serve as an Analyst on the Fund, providing ESG-focused company research. We may seek an additional new hire for the portfolio who can bring additional emerging markets investment and ESG expertise to the team.
Please detail the team’s experience in ESG investing.
Vivek Tanneeru has 17 years of experience investing in emerging markets and Asia. Prior to joining Matthews Asia in 2011, Vivek spent six months during his M.B.A. studies as an intern at Generation Investment Management, an investment management company co-founded by Al Gore that has championed sustainability-focused investing. He also worked at Pictet Asset Management in London, a firm that has been one of the pioneers of sustainable investing in Europe. On a personal level, he has long-held beliefs regarding sustainability investing and initiated Matthews Asia’s efforts in gaining a LEED Gold certification as well as help found the Matthews’ Sustainability Committee.
Kathlyn Collins has over eight years of industry experience that includes as an ESG & Global Strategy Analyst with Cartica Management LLC where she developed ESG integration and analyzed investments for portfolios, conducted company research and engagement, and wrote reports relating to Emerging Markets.
How does the Matthews Emerging Markets Sustainable Future team engage with the rest of the investment team at Matthews Asia?
The portfolio management team has the ability to draw on the company- and country-specific expertise of the entire investment team at Matthews Asia, who pay keen attention to firms with such attributes as solid corporate governance and good transparency. Frequent investment team meetings are held and foster cross-team communications further encouraging informal dialogue about companies and sectors. This was designed so that the team could benefit from a much broader perspective than it could accomplish as a standalone team.
The Matthews Asia Sustainable Future Fund team will work with the Matthews Asia’s Knowledge Platforms, which are groups of research analysts and portfolio managers that come together to generate and discuss new investment ideas and perform industry and company analysis. These Knowledge Platforms, organized along both country and sector dimensions, provide more resources to not only discuss and share ideas, but also to help conduct research and due diligence on companies that may be relevant to the Matthews Asia Sustainable Future portfolio.
The MSCI Emerging Markets Index is a free float-adjusted market capitalization-weighted index of the stock markets of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Egypt, Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey and United Arab Emirates.
You should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of the Matthews Asia Funds carefully before making an investment decision. A prospectus or a summary prospectus with this and other information about the Funds may be obtained by visiting matthewsasia.com. Please read the prospectus carefully before investing as it explains the risks associated with investing in international markets. Investing in international and emerging markets may involve additional risks, such as social and political instability. Investing in international, emerging and frontier markets may involve additional risks, such as social and political instability, market illiquidity, exchange-rate fluctuations, a high level of volatility and limited regulation. Additionally, investing in emerging and frontier securities involves greater risks than investing in securities of developed markets, as issuers in these countries generally disclose less financial and other information publicly or restrict access to certain information from review by non-domestic authorities. Emerging and frontier markets tend to have less stringent and less uniform accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards, limited regulatory or governmental oversight, and limited investor protection or rights to take action against issuers, resulting in potential material risks to investors. Pandemics and other public health emergencies can result in market volatility and disruption. The Fund’s consideration of ESG factors in making its investment decisions may impact the Fund’s relative investment performance positively or negatively.