Legendary emerging markets maven Mark Mobius may have retired from Franklin Templeton as executive chairman in January, but the 81-year-old still plans to remain active in the industry. The investment expert's next act: a new firm to set its sights on investment in China and other emerging and frontier markets.
According to Mobius, China's annual legislative sessions are under way, and there are great investment opportunities in the world's second-largest economy.
On Sunday presidential term limits were abolished, allowing President Xi Jinping to remain in office indefinitely. Mobius said this policy change could have a positive or negative investment impact, depending on how peoples' lives are influenced and how the economy develops. "But a strong, stable leadership usually is relatively good provided that the population is happy," Mobius said.
Mobius joined a Franklin Templeton predecessor firm in 1987 to launch Templeton Emerging Markets Fund. He ran the firm's emerging markets team until 2016 when he passed on his role as chief investment officer to Stephen Dover. As executive chairman he oversaw around $50 billion in investments. Now Mobius says he left to start a new fund management firm, Mobius Capital Partners, which launches this summer. "I liked the idea of trying something different," the octogenarian said.
Mobius will continue investing in emerging and frontier markets. Initially, Mobius Capital Partners will manage institutional monies and a cross-border, Luxembourg-domiciled mutual fund. Although a launch date has not been determined, the firm also plans on launching a U.S.-domiciled '40 Act fund in the future.
In 1973, Mobius published a book, Trading with China. A few years later he visited the country for the first time. And today he sees opportunities in private equity, listed securities and fixed income.