Stewart Investors’ Global Emerging Markets Sustainability Strategy Marks 15-Year Anniversary With Benchmark-Beating Returns

Stewart Investors, a long-only active equity specialist and global leader in sustainable investing, is marking the 15-year anniversary of its Global Emerging Markets Sustainability (GEMS) strategy with benchmark-beating returns across multiple time periods, net of fees, through March 31, 2024.

Launched on Feb. 28, 2009, the Stewart Investors GEMS strategy composite has generated an annualized return of 10.0%, net of fees, for the 15-year period through March 31, 2024, versus 7.0% for its benchmark, the MSCI Emerging Markets Index. The GEMS strategy composite also outperformed its benchmark over the 10, seven, five, and three-year periods through March 31, 2024, returning 3.9%, 4.5%, 3.3% and -2.5%, respectively, versus 3.3%, 4.1%, 2.6%, and -4.7% over the same periods for the index.








Annualized Performance through 03/31/2024

15 years

10 years

7 years

5 years

3 years

1 year

Stewart Investors Global Emerging Markets Sustainability Composite (net)







MSCI Emerging Markets Index








The GEMS strategy composite outperformed the MSCI Emerging Markets Index in 11 of 14 full calendar years from 2010 through 2023. The strategy’s cumulative 15-year return through March 31, 2024 is 317.1% vs 177.1% for the index. 

The GEMS strategy seeks to generate long-term, risk-adjusted returns by investing in the shares of high-quality companies that are particularly well positioned to contribute to, and benefit from, sustainable development.

Sujaya Desai, based in Sydney, is lead manager of the strategy and Jack Nelson, based in Edinburgh, is co-manager. They are part of an 11-person investment team that manages more than $18.6 billion globally, focusing on Asia Pacific, emerging markets, regional, and worldwide sustainable equity strategies. The GEMS strategy has $1.7 billion in assets under management. The team also runs a Global Emerging Markets Leaders Sustainability (GEMLS) strategy with $1.4 billion invested for a global client base. 

“Emerging markets as an asset class has had a difficult 15 years. Our strategy’s performance over that time, though, demonstrates that with a highly active yet equally patient approach to capital allocation, attractive returns are possible,” Desai said. “Our approach is consistent: we invest in high-quality companies with enduring characteristics that are addressing large domestic markets and whose goods and services are globally competitive.” 

“Looking forward, the case for investing actively on a bottom-up basis in emerging markets has never been stronger,” Nelson said. “We believe the emerging markets universe contains more of the world’s great companies than ever, in fields as diverse as semiconductors, renewable energy technologies, software as a service, healthcare supplies, fintech and e-commerce.”

Stewart Investors has received a Morningstar ESG Commitment Level of Leader, the highest designation in the assessment by Morningstar Inc., a leading provider of independent investment research. Stewart Investors is one of only eight asset managers out of 108 global firms evaluated to receive the Leader ranking by Morningstar. The designations range from Low to Basic, Advanced and Leader.

The Morningstar ESG Commitment Level is a qualitative assessment that aims to help investors identify the asset managers dedicated to delivering sustainability outcomes. To arrive at the Morningstar ESG Commitment Level for individual firms, the firm’s analysts evaluate the asset managers on three key pillars: philosophy and process; resources; and active ownership.

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