Japan is the third largest economy in the world, but its stockmarket is often overlooked. This offers unique opportunities for active stockpickers such as ourselves to add value through our proprietary research, insights and engagement with companies. The M&G Asia Pacific Equity Team has over 20 years of experience investing in Japan and offers a truly comprehensive perspective to this market. One that is at a generational moment in terms of corporate reform and shareholder value release.
Our unique brand of "value-added shareholdership"* is well positioned to take advantage of the significant changes taking place in Japanese corporate behaviour.
We look for situations where a specific debate or blind spot has driven a large wedge between the price and the value of a company. Our strategy utilises independent, proprietary research to identify and extensively research opportunities across a universe of curated stocks which have been carefully refined over 20-plus years. We deliberately concentrate our efforts on these companies where we can plausibly claim to have earned the right to a superior perspective on the debate. In our opinion, our edge does not come from better forecasting, but rather from the superior pricing of risk.
*adding value by being an active shareholder through engagement with management
The value of the fund's assets will go down as well as up. This will cause the value of your investment to fall as well as rise and you may get back less than you originally invested.
Japan's companies are at a historic turning point. Managers have recognised the need to make their companies fit for the future. The state is supporting them with targeted measures in this long-term transformation process.
This is an especially interesting time for equity investors who are willing to get involved and engage with Japanese business models.
Japan's strong companies are increasingly responsive to the needs of their shareholders and also rely on the support of active shareholders. At M&G, we are well placed to be active in this area, thanks to our decades of groundwork and our unique approach to wanting and being able to add value.
In addition to the usual financial models, we also include softer factors in our company valuations. We call this mental modelling. It allows us to assess and price risks in a sustainable way.
We want to be the shareholder of choice for Japanese companies because we bring the characteristics that clearly add value to them. These are our strengths:
We like to serve the companies we invest in - an attitude we believe is particularly well suited to Japan.
Carl Vine joined M&G in 2019 as Co-Head of Asia Pacific Equity Team. Carl has 25 years of investment experience in Japan and is the lead manager for M&G’s Japanese Equities strategies. Prior to joining M&G, Carl Vine held various senior positions. Carl holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Politics, Philosophy & Economics from Oxford University.
Sunny Romo is the investment director covering Japanese equities. Sunny joined M&G in 2018, having spent most of her 15 year career working first as an equity trader and subsequently as investment specialist for Japanese equity strategies. Sunny graduated from the University of Reading with a BA in International Relations and Economics. She is a CAIA charter holder and holds the Investment Management Certificate (IMC).