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T. Rowe Price Japanese Equity

Elite Rated by FundCalibre

This fund holds around sixty to one hundred Japanese companies of all sizes, although with a notable overweight to smaller firms. The manager aims to find businesses he believes can deliver sustainable growth, before other investors recognise their potential. He will adapt his investing style as needed to suit changing market conditions, which has helped him to outperform in different environments.

Company Description

Founded in 1937, T. Rowe Price is one of the world’s largest investment managers and was awarded the Elite Provider for Equities Rating in 2016 and 2017. Fundamental research is at the heart of the T. Rowe Price approach, with more than 200 in-house analysts dedicated to equity and fixed income research. Experienced and stable fund management teams are a key feature of the firm.

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Fund Manager

Tokyo-based Archibald (Archie) Ciganer has run this fund since December 2013, after joining T. Rowe Price as an analyst in 2007 and covering many of the industries in which the fund invests. He has more than 15 years’ experience in Japanese equities and is fluent in Japanese, French and English. Archie is supported by a team of Japanese equity analysts based in London, Tokyo and Singapore.

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We want to be on the 'right side of change' and we want to be there before everyone else to get the best benefits.

Archibald Ciganer - Fund Manager

The Investment Process

Archie seeks companies with competitive advantages in areas such as brands or technology – characteristics that he thinks are often undervalued by the market. These companies will usually fall into one of two categories: durable growers that benefit from the current economic climate or transformational stories about to undergo some form of restructuring. The team’s in-depth research allows them to be confidently contrarian, buying businesses they believe will grow in value over the long term, but that are not yet appreciated by the rest of the market.

Risk

Japan is considered perpetually high risk and this fund tends to be slightly more volatile than its sector average, although under Archie’s tenure it has generally lost less than the overall market in tough periods. The team’s thorough process naturally helps to mitigate the risk of poor stock decisions affecting total returns, while meticulously-managed weightings and a strict sell discipline minimise the impact of underperformance from any single company.

Our Opinion

Since Archie took over running this fund, it has consistently been among the sector’s top quartile performers. His focus on companies that are undergoing corporate change is well aligned with Japan’s current economic and political climate, although patience is sometimes required to see these types of opportunities pay off. For the long-term investor, this fund offers diversified Japanese exposure, with a manager who has the skill and flexibility to react to evolving market trends over time.

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