Investing in the Latin American Growing Middle Class
TWST: Please start with a brief history and overview of Aberdeen.
Mr. Robinson: Aberdeen Asset Management is a Scottish investment firm. The history goes back many years, but the more recent history of Aberdeen really stretches back to the 1980s, when the current CEO, Martin Gilbert, essentially started the company via the purchase of an investment trust company. Since then the business has grown by a mixture of acquisition and organic growth, and is now one of the largest listed asset managers in the United Kingdom. The company has close to U.S.$300 billion of assets under management and manages assets essentially in four broad categories: equities, fixed income, property and alternative investments.
I'm based on our emerging markets equities team, which manages about U.S.$30 billion of equity assets. I'm based in Brazil, in Sao Paulo, which is one of the newer offices that Aberdeen Asset Management has opened. We opened the office here in Sao Paulo about two years ago, and since then it has grown to five people. Primarily we use this office to research investment opportunities and existing investments that are held in Aberdeen funds.
TWST: How would you describe the firm's overall philosophy or investment strategy?