Former Macquarie Asian equities team to launch billion-dollar Asia fund

From

Sam Le Cornu

Three founding members of Macquarie’s Asian Listed Equities division have re-joined forces to establish Stonehorn Global Partners and launch the Stonehorn Asia Equity Fund.

  • Asia – Rigorous due diligence and disciplined investment process.
  • Unconstrained – Benchmark, sector, country and market-cap agnostic.
  • High-conviction – Approximately 30 Stocks in MSCI Asia ex-Japan.
  • ESG and corporate governance focus –Sustainable and responsible investing.
  • Experienced team – Managed over AUD$4.0bn, worked together in Asia for nearly 10 years.
  • Alignment of interests – Partnership mindset, staff invest alongside clients.

Sam Le Cornu, the former Head of Investments, Executive Director and Co-Head of Macquarie’s Asian Listed Equities business, will lead Stonehorn and is joined by co-founders Duke Lo and John Lam. Having previously worked together for almost 10 years, the team holds a consistent and successful track record in co-managing over AUD$4.0bn.

The Stonehorn team is launching a billion-dollar, actively managed, high conviction and totally unconstrained Asia ex-Japan long only equities portfolio. Their concentrated strategy will hold an average of 30 positions while being unconstrained in terms of sector, country and market cap. They will be based on-the-ground in Hong Kong, where they will leverage their local networks, language skills and high-level access to Asia’s leading companies. All investments are carefully selected by cross-checking investment assumptions, conducting face-to-face management discussions, thoroughly analysing financial accounts and carrying out deep-dive industry checks. Their solid investment process focuses on robust corporate governance checks, addressing Environmental, Social and Governance concerns whilst strongly navigating the many risks specific to Asia.

Le Cornu’s, Lo’s and Lam’s previous record together is very strong. Le Cornu was named ‘Chief Investment Officer of the Year’ two years running by the prestigious Asia Asset Management Journal.[i] The strategies they oversaw within Macquarie consistently posted strong absolute and relative performance for nearly a decade. This included the high profile ‘Macquarie Asia New Stars’ Fund that won numerous Lipper performance awards over the years, Best Emerging Markets and Regional Fund Zenith (Australia), Fund Manager of the Year – Global Equities Category Money Management and Fund Selector Asia, Asia Pacific Equity Platinum Winner, Best Fund of the year.[ii]

Le Cornu says “I’m extremely excited to be working again with John and Duke to create an Asian boutique asset management firm which has a true partnership-mindset, sees its investment team invest its own money alongside its clients, and has fully-aligned interests with their clients as well.”

Lam adds, “Our investment approach is the same as what we did in the last decade. The principles behind how we organize ourselves are also the same. What will be different this time is the environment, market inefficiencies will always exist, and all it really does is further set apart the good managers from the mediocre.”

Lo adds “At Stonehorn we believe that unity, teamwork and team stability forges strong team culture. Clients know what they get with us, we seek their deserved-trust as we will always remain open, honest and transparent. It’s been our ability to work together effectively for ten-years that enables us to draw the best out of each other and deliver our best performance for our clients.”

Underpinning the venture is Trawalla Capital, a private investment firm of the Melbourne-based Schwartz Family Office, headed by Alan and Carol Schwartz. Trawalla Capital is a shareholder in Stonehorn and will be a significant investor in the inaugural Fund.

“We have long believed the Asian market presents tremendous opportunity for Australian investors, who we think are currently underweight in their asset allocation to Asia (ex-Japan) equities. We believe in long term investing and the stronger economic growth in Asia, relative to developed markets, will continue to drive returns and draw capital to the region over the long term.”

“We are therefore delighted to be partnering with Sam, John and Duke. They are established leaders who are proven in their field, whose values and approach are strongly aligned with our own. Stonehorn’s team leverage their unique networks and local presence to ensure investments are made in only the highest quality companies with a focus on strong corporate governance. We are very excited by the opportunity to be a major investor in their first fund.” Mr Schwartz said.

“Stonehorn Global Partners will be Trawalla Capital’s third portfolio company complementing Qualitas, a real estate investment management firm and Armitage Associates, a growth equity firm,” Mr Schwartz said.

The fund will initially be open to investment from institutional and wholesale investors in Asia, Europe and Australia, including high net-worth individual investors, family offices and institutions.

The fund is expected to be open to institutional and wholesale investors in April-June 2019.

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[i]  Sam Le Cornu awarded Best of the Best Asia Asset Management CIO of the Year Winner Equity, Hong Kong of the year 2015 & 2014.
[ii]  Macquarie Asia New Stars was awarded Fund Selector Asia, Asia Pacific Equity Platinum Winner, Best Fund of The Year, 2016. Macquarie Asia New Stars was awarded Professional Planner/Zenith Awards Winner International Equities of The Year, 2014 & 2015. Macquarie Asset Management was awarded Fund Manager of the Year Global Equities Category Money Management, 2014.

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