First State Investments is the international operation of Colonial First State Global Asset Management, the asset management business of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. Colonial First State Global Asset Management, Australia’s largest fund manager with approximately £50 billion in assets under management, is a division of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, one of Australia’s largest financial services organisations.
Colonial First State Global Asset Management is managed by CBA’s Wealth Management division. Within CBA, Wealth Management is responsible for the manufacture and administration of non-banking services, including business units such as Colonial First State in Australia and First State Investments in the UK and Asia. Wealth Management also provides strategic and operational support for the investment and insurance products of group companies.
First State’s operation in the UK expanded in 2000 with the acquisition of Edinburgh-based fund manager Stewart Ivory & Company, providing the benefit of a dual site operation across Edinburgh and London offices in addition to international offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia and Australia.
First State provides a range of specialist investment management services. Our core areas of focus include Asia Pacific and global emerging markets equities, global equities, global fixed interest and smaller companies equities. We manage investments through pooled vehicles and segregated mandates on behalf of wholesale and institutional investors globally.
We are fundamental, active investors. Our equities philosophy focuses on quality of companies, earnings per share growth, and sensible valuations. We believe that EPS growth drives long-term share prices and high quality assets reduce investment risk. As an active manager of fixed interest, we believe we have the potential to achieve the dual objective of excess returns and effective risk management.
Our approach to investment research is fundamentally different to that of competitor firms. We do not start with the index and do not talk in terms of market ‘coverage’. Rather, we utilise the experience of our managers and analysts to identify areas of interest where we then focus our efforts.
In addition to managing global equities and fixed income on behalf of the Commonwealth Bank Group, the UK business manages the First State Investments ICVC, an open ended investment company offering local, regional, and global equities, and distributes the First State Global Umbrella Fund, a variable capital company offering a selection of Asian and global equities and fixed income portfolios.
We have offices in Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, and in the UK.