An official statement from Legg Mason said: “Given the firm’s size we believe this decision best serves both Esemplia clients and Legg Mason’s shareholders. Legg Mason remains committed to building our international equity capabilities.”
Esemplia had two specialist investment teams focused on GEM and Hong Kong and China equities.
In total the firm managed seven funds, including the Dublin-domiciled Legg Mason LMHK China Fund and Luxembourg-domiciled Legg Mason Emerging Market Equity Fund.
The China Fund was run by Winnie Chan and has fourth quartile performance over the past year. Over three years it has third quartile performance and has lost investors 7.49%.
A spokesperson for Legg Mason said UK investor exposure was minimal in these two funds, but that they were available on some platforms in the UK.
The asset manager has had more than five years of net redemptions and its chief executive Joseph Sullivan has pledged to stem withdrawals by focusing on the product offering and improving performance.
In today’s statement, however, the firm said it was looking at the acquisition of a partner with a strong investment track record who could leverage its global distribution network.
An alternative would be to build the international equity capability within its existing affiliates, or use a combination of both approaches.