Neptune Investment Management has announced that its India fund manager Kunal Desai (pictured) has left the firm and been replaced on the mandate by Citywire A-rated Latin America fund manager Tom Smith.
Desai (pictured) is leaving Neptune to join an unnamed firm preparing to launch an emerging markets fund, while Smith has been promoted to co-head of emerging markets alongside AA-rated Ewan Thompson, manager of the £31 million Neptune China and £44 million Emerging Markets funds.
Desai has delivered a solid performance on the £109 million fund, which he has run since the end of 2012. He rose to a Citywire AAA rating in the summer of 2016, holding onto that status for a year, but has since started to trail rivals. Over three years to the end of April the fund is up 46.7%, lagging the 48.2% return from the average manager.
Smith is meanwhile the top-performing Latin America-focused open-ended fund manager over the last five years. In five years of turbulence for the region, the fund is up 16.4%. In the last three years, when emerging markets have bounced back, he has delivered 54.8%.
In a statement, Neptune said: ‘Tom and Ewan have worked closely together for many years and Tom has been one of the contributing factors to the outstanding performance of Ewan’s Neptune Emerging Markets fund.
‘Tom is taking over as manager of the Neptune India fund with immediate effect and we are very excited to see the benefits that his fund management skills can bring to the fund.
‘Ewan, who in the past has run the Neptune India fund, remains number two on the Neptune India fund.’