Insparo Asset Management has appointed emerging markets specialist Cian Walsh, a move aimed at broadening the firm’s scope of regional expertise, which comes ahead of expected expansion into new investment territories.
Walsh, who joins Insparo as a senior portfolio manager, will strengthen Insparo’s well-established investment team, which boasts an impressive track record in frontier and emerging markets investment. He is expected to play a major role in rolling out new products for the firm. Initially, Walsh will oversee the launch of a new local markets fund, expected to be launched later this year.
Walsh will be a valuable addition to the investment team, led by CIO Mohammed Hanif, who manages the firm’s existing funds, the Insparo Africa Equity Fund and the firm’s flagship Insparo Africa and Middle East Fund, which has returned over 30% since launch with low volatility. Insparo will apply the firm’s successful strategy of capitalising on the dynamic growth of emerging and frontier markets to the planned new fund.
Walsh brings with him a wealth of experience in emerging markets, principally as a portfolio manager with BlueBay, where he was part of the firm’s Investment Committee. In eight years with the firm’s emerging markets team, Walsh helped build BlueBay’s EM assets under management from $200 million to over $8 billion. He was instrumental in the success of the firms Emerging Market Local currency bond fund, launched in 2005, which achieved top decile performance during his time there.
Walsh started his career as an emerging markets strategist at Dresdner Kleinwort Benson in London, before spending two years as Portfolio Manager at Standard Asset Management where he was responsible for idea generation and risk management for Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Mohammed Hanif (pictured), Chief Investment Officer at Insparo, says: “The investment team we have assembled has over 60 years emerging and frontier markets experience, gained at some of the biggest money managers in the world. It is an extremely high calibre team, and Cian is an excellent addition to it. I know him well from my own days at BlueBay’s EM team, and prior to that at Dresdner. I am very pleased to be able to welcome him to Insparo. He will be instrumental in our push into new investment markets and territories, and we look forward to him helping us bring our successful philosophy to a wider audience of investors.”
Walsh says: “It is very exciting to be joining Insparo. In the short time since its launch the firm has established itself as one of the most dynamic managers investing in next generation markets. The reason for this, I believe, is the sophistication of their approach to their target investment countries. Similarly, success in local markets relies on taking individual markets on their relative merits, understanding each one thoroughly, and being able to consistently exploit the many opportunities available within a risk controlled environment. Insparo has shown its ability to do that, and I hope to be able to add to the team’s extensive knowledge of, and expertise in, the world’s developing markets.”