Specialist in Asia Pacific, China, India and South East Asia and Global Emerging Market equities.

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Stewart Investors manage investment portfolios on behalf of our clients over the long term and have held shares in some companies for over 20 years. They launched their first investment strategy in 1988.

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Board of directors

Board of directors

Headshot of Takafumi Ihara
Takafumi Ihara
Senior Managing Executive Officer and Chief Executive of Asset Management & Investor Services Business Unit, Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation (MUTB)

Mr Ihara is responsible for oversight of the Asset Management (AM) & Investor Services (IS) businesses as Senior Managing Executive Officer and Chief Executive of AM & IS Business Unit, having been appointed to this role in April 2024.

In his tenure at MUTB, spanning three decades, Mr Ihara has gained experience in security operations, fixed income trading, international bond sales, risk management, corporate planning and asset management. In 2011, he was appointed Deputy General Manager of Global Asset Management Business Division, and has since held several executive roles within the Asset Management business, and also CEO of Mitsubishi UFJ Fund Services Holdings Ltd. Within the Investor Services business, Mr Ihara worked in multiple regions including London.

Mr Ihara holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Waseda University.

Headshot of Mark Steinberg
Mark Steinberg
First Sentier Investors Chief Executive Officer

Mr Steinberg is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for First Sentier Investors and is based in Sydney.

Mr Steinberg brings a strong background in acquisitions and wealth management to his role of CEO. Before joining the company in September 2017, Mr Steinberg was Group Chief Financial Officer and Group Chief Operating Officer of Cover-More, an Australian Stock Exchange listed company, where he oversaw several acquisitions before Cover-More was acquired in April 2017.

Prior to this, he held positions at Colonial First State, including Chief Financial Officer. He also worked for Vodafone, where he was CFO of the New Zealand business, Finance Director of the Japanese business and CFO of the Australian business.

Mr Steinberg is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia and New Zealand and a Senior Fellow of FINSIA.

Headshot of Yutaka Kawakami
Yutaka Kawakami
Managing Executive Officer, Deputy Chief Executive, Asset Management & Investor Services Business Unit, Business Head Asset Management Business at Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation

Yutaka Kawakami has worked with Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation since 1990, where he has gained extensive experience in the field of asset management. He has held various positions including strategist, global asset management sales, strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions, directorships with strategic alliance partners, such as joint venture with Baillie Gifford and Shenwan Hongyuan Securities.

From August 2019 to March 2022, Mr Kawakami held the position of Deputy Chief Executive Officer at First Sentier Investors, where he supported the development and implementation of the business strategy, aligned interests and sought opportunities and synergies between Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation and First Sentier Investors.

Mr Kawakami has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Keio University, Tokyo, Japan.

Headshot of Michelle Tredenick
Michelle Tredenick
Independent Non-Executive Director & Lead Independent Director

Michelle Tredenick has extensive experience in a broad range of industries, including banking, insurance, wealth management, education services, health insurance, superannuation and technology. 

Ms Tredenick has held senior roles at National Australia Bank, MLC and Suncorp, and she currently runs her own corporate advisory business advising boards and CEOs on strategy and technology. She serves on several listed and private company boards, including Insurance Australia Group Limited and Bank of Queensland Limited, Cricket Australia, Urbis Pty Ltd, Ethics Centre and the Senate of the University of Queensland.

She is a Fellow of the Institute of Company Directors, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Queensland. 

Headshot of Susie Rippingall
Susie Rippingall
Independent Non-Executive Director

Susie Rippingall is an experienced Board Director and investment professional based in Hong Kong. She has more than 20 years’ experience as a manager of Asian equity funds and seven years as a non-executive director. 

Ms Rippingall has held a number of Board roles since 2013. Before this, she was Senior Portfolio Manager at First Sentier Investors (Hong Kong) Ltd., Portfolio Manager at First Sentier Investors Management (UK) Ltd. and Portfolio Manager at The Scottish Oriental Smaller Cos. Trust Plc. She has a strong understanding of corporate governance best practice and unique insight into the Asian investment management sector.

Headshot of Richard Wastcoat
Richard Wastcoat
Independent Non-Executive Director

Mr Wastcoat has over 25 years’ Executive experience in US, Europe and Asia and a track record of leading a large, complex business as well as managing developing businesses in emerging markets. 

In addition, he has over 10 years’ experience as an independent non-executive and board member for International asset management, banking and wealth management, educational services and fin tech companies. His experience includes chairing of International Committee and membership of risk, audit and remuneration committees. 

Mr Wastcoat is an experienced and prominent figure in the UK funds management industry, and joined First Sentier Investors UK group of companies as their first non-executive director in 2011. He previously spent 25 years at Fidelity and worked as Chief Executive of its UK mutual fund business, and subsequently FundsNetwork, from 1999 until his retirement from the company in 2008. He is currently on the Board of Marstone Inc, a digital advice company based in New York. 

Mr Wastcoat holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Lehigh University, Pennsylvania, USA.

Headshot of Yoshiki Ueno
Yoshiki Ueno
First Sentier Investors Deputy Chief Executive Officer

Yoshiki Ueno was appointed Deputy Chief Executive Officer in March 2022. He has been working for First Sentier Investors since August 2019, and was appointed Head of US Governance in September 2021. As part of his role, he worked closely with Managing Director, Americas, Bachar Beaini, as he managed the US consultation and reporting process with First Sentier Investors' US parent companies - MUFG Americas and MUFG Fund Services (USA). In 2022, Mr Ueno was appointed to the Steering Committee of the First Sentier MUFG Sustainable Investment Institute.

Prior to his time at First Sentier Investors, Mr Ueno spent over 20 years at First Sentier Investors' shareholder Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation in a variety roles including corporate finance, strategy planning for asset management and investor services business, and project management office of integration projects.

Mr Ueno has a MBA from the International Corporate Strategy, Hitotsubashi University and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Waseda University.

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Gary Cotton
Managing Director, EMEA and Chief of Staff

Gary Cotton is Managing Director for First Sentier Investors in EMEA having joined in September 2020. From October 2022 to January 2024, Gary assumed the role of acting COO globally. In February 2024, Gary was appointed Chief of Staff.

Gary sits on the board of directors of each of First Sentier Investors’ main operating entities in the UK and Ireland and is a member of the executive leadership team.

Prior to joining First Sentier Investors, Gary was Chief Operating Officer and a member of the Executive team at M&G Limited.  During his 20 years at M&G, he held a number of senior management positions and was a director of a number of regulated entities including M&G Securities (the ACD) and was also a Trustee of the M&G defined benefit pension scheme.  Gary commenced his career at Sedgwick Noble Lowndes as an Investment Consultant.

Gary holds a BA (Hons) from Middlesex University. He is a Certified Investment Fund Director.