Specialists in Japan, one of the world's largest markets
Driven by fundamental company research, FSSA Investment Managers delve deep into the Japanese market to invest in high quality equities that can outperform over the long term. We are bottom-up investors and construct high-conviction portfolios that offer our clients exposure to some of the world’s fastest-growing markets.
We are long-term, responsible investors and have fully integrated environmental, social and governance factors into the investment process. To us, sustainability is not just a label, but a set of values by which we operate. We consider it to be prudent risk management and a fundamental obligation to our clients.
FSSA Investment Managers is an autonomous team within the First Sentier Investors group, with dedicated investment professionals in Hong Kong, Singapore and Edinburgh.
FSSA’s Japan equity portfolios are built company by company and from the bottom up, with little regard for index positioning. We are focused on growth in an absolute return sense and construct portfolios of high quality companies with effective management teams, long-term, sustainable growth drivers and strong financials. Despite the perception that there is no growth in Japan, our core portfolio holdings have been able to adapt and grow despite economic headwinds, and have delivered sustainable earnings growth and attractive shareholder returns.
The key investment themes for our Japan strategies
“Hidden gems” that are able to grow despite the weak macro
High-quality, dominant franchises can sustain strong and consistent earnings growth without relying on leverage or macro conditions. Often, these companies incorporate some combination of the following characteristics: innovation, disruption, overseas expansion and a strong focus on return on invested capital.
Niche industries with few competitors
In niche sectors with just one or two dominant companies, the leading franchises tend to maintain their market position as there are no significant rivals to compete with. This can lead to sustainably high returns for investors in those companies.
Growing trend of automation
In Japan, the proportion of older, retired people to those of working age is growing. As robots become smarter and less costly, manufacturers have started to automate their processes to address labour shortages and, at the same time, improve efficiencies in the long run.
Dominant consumer franchises
Japanese consumer brands benefit from a strong following in the Asia Pacific region, with Chinese consumers in particular forming a large target market for “Made in Japan” products.
The FSSA investment team consists of more than 20 investment professionals based in Hong Kong, Singapore and Edinburgh.
We have a distinct culture and team structure, which has contributed to the stability of the team. Around half of our analysts joined as graduates; and the majority of our portfolio managers have been with us for most of their careers.
Our team members come from diverse backgrounds and speak 15 local languages and dialects, which contributes to the quality of research and analysis when meeting with companies. All portfolio managers are, first and foremost, also analysts; and the entire team contribute stock ideas to each of our client portfolios.