First State Investments, the London arm of Colonial First State Global Asset Management, has hired a former hedge fund manager to its global equities team.

Rupert Welchman, formerly a portfolio manager with London-based hedge fund provider KI Asset Management, began working at First State earlier this month as a financial sector specialist, reporting to head of global equities, Habib Sujally. Welchman joined KI in July 2006, and managed the banks and insurance investments in the KI Specialty Financials Fund. Prior to this, he worked at Threadneedle Asset Management in a nine-year tenure, joining as an analyst before rising to become head of global banks. Sujally’s team is responsible for the £42 million Global Opportunities Fund, which, for the year closing at the end of May, returned -0.5 per cent to the -3.6 per cent return of the benchmark MSCI World Index. For the two-years ending in April it returned -0.9 per cent against a 4.7 per cent benchmark, and 69.4 per cent against the benchmark’s 36.8 per cent.

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