First State Investments, also known as Colonial First State Global Asset Management (CFSGAM) in Australia, is a global asset management business focused on providing high quality, long-term investment capabilities to our clients. We are responsible for approximately USD$156.3b (AUD$222.7b)1 assets under management on behalf of clients that include institutional investors, pension funds, wholesale distributors and platforms, financial advisers and their clients.
We believe that long-term investment success is achieved by bringing together independent teams of active, specialist investors who share a common commitment to act as responsible stewards of our clients’ assets. This commitment not only guides how our teams invest but is also central to our overall business and culture.
- We take a long-term approach to investment with a focus on preserving capital and performance through market cycles, rather than trying to achieve short-term gains.
- We recognise the importance of responsible investment and that Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues impact investment value. We believe we can achieve better long-term investment outcomes through active engagement with companies and by exercising the equity ownership rights we hold on behalf of our clients.
- The culture of our business is based on developing long-term client relationships with teams incentivised in line with the outcomes they deliver for clients.
We offer a comprehensive suite of investment capabilities across a number of sought-after asset classes. We have 17 independent teams operating across equities, fixed income, listed and direct infrastructure and multi-asset, including Stewart Investors, a pioneer in emerging market equities and sustainable investing, and First State Stewart Asia, our leading Asian and global emerging markets equities investor.
Our philosophy and culture
Our philosophy and culture is built on the principle of acting as responsible stewards of our clients’ assets. This guides how our teams invest as well as how we operate our overall business.
We place clients’ interests at the core of our business, with a clear focus on earning and maintaining their confidence in our investment capabilities and operations. We strive for the highest degree of transparency and accountability that we can achieve, and place strong emphasis on the values of honesty and integrity.
We believe that the way our industry views investment performance needs to evolve to reflect the real-world impact of business. This means moving away from backward looking, short-term, benchmark relative returns to a more holistic view of organisational quality which also includes forward looking, long-term, sustainability and societal outcomes.
Our approach to responsible investment and the way in which ESG issues inform our investment decisions forms part of our ongoing reporting. Case studies provide insight into investment decision making. We accept the science of climate change and our duty to consider related risks and opportunities in our investment decision-making and ownership practices.
Since 2007, we have been signatories to the United Nation’s Principles for Responsible Investment (also referred to as PRI) and have had group-wide stewardship principles in place since 2013.
Our business started in Australia in 1988. We are now an established global asset management business with a diverse client base supported by regional operations.
On 2 August 2019, Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation (MUTB) and its affiliates acquired our business from Commonwealth Bank of Australia, and we now operate as a standalone global asset management business, overseen by MUTB. MUTB is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc.
1 Source: Commonwealth Bank of Australia financials as at 30 June 2019.