Mark Mobius Steps Back at Templeton

Emerging markets investing guru Dr Mark Mobius is stepping back at Templeton funds, but there will be little impact on portfolios say Morningstar fund analysts

Germaine Share 22 March, 2017 | 2:17PM

The Templeton Emerging Markets Group has announced that, beginning April 3, 2017, it will be initiating a series of portfolio manager appointments as part of the ongoing evolution of the Group. The appointments will happen in two rounds, the first effective April 2017, and the second effective May 31, 2017, subject to further regulatory approval.

As a result, Mark Mobius’ name will be removed from 12 Templeton Emerging Markets Group strategies.

Morningstar Analysts’ Take

The reality is that Mobius has not been involved in the day-to-day management of these strategies for quite some time. In most cases, the newly named portfolio managers have in fact been doing the heavy-lifting for their respective strategies for a long time. For example, Allan Lam, who will officially be named as the lead portfolio manager on Templeton Asian Growth, has been the final decision maker of the strategy since 1999.

Therefore, we think that this is a positive development which improves accountability at the portfolio manager level, and provides better transparency to investors. Templeton has gradually been setting the stage for Mobius to step back over the past few years.

Notably, Stephen Dover replaced Mobius as the Group’s CIO on 15 April 2016. Mobius remains as the executive chairman and continues to be an important spokesperson for the Group. We view this latest announcement as a sensible step in further paving the way for him to step back. 

Dover has started bringing about positive changes to the Group, such as appointing capable portfolio managers, Chetan Seghal and Carlos Hardenberg, to take over the Templeton Emerging Markets strategy. As a result, we upgraded Templeton Emerging Markets from a Morningstar Analyst Rating of Negative to Neutral at our December 2016 review. This portfolio manager change will also be officially reflected on April 3 2017.

Overall, we think that the Group is heading in the right direction and investors should not be concerned about the portfolio manager appointments. There are no immediate Morningstar Analyst Rating implications following this change.

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Securities Mentioned in Article
Security NamePriceChange (%)Morningstar
Rating
Templeton Asian Growth A Ydis USD34.26 USD-0.41
Templeton Emerging Markets A Ydis USD38.88 USD-0.48
About Author

Germaine Share  is a Senior Analyst for Morningstar