Complete your registration today for a chance to win £50 John Lewis vouchers in our weekly draw Enter now
Fund Profile


Disclosure – Non-Independent Marketing Communication

This is a non-independent marketing communication commissioned by Ashoka India Equity. The report has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and is not subject to any prohibition on the dealing ahead of the dissemination of investment research.

A new version of this profile is available. View Latest

Ashoka India Equity’s (AIE) management team uses detailed cash-flow analysis to pick a concentrated portfolio of what they view as the most attractive Indian equities, aiming to outperform the market in all macro environments thanks to stock selection. The team looks for the most compelling investment opportunities across the market capitalisation spectrum, with over 50% of the current AIE portfolio invested in mid caps and small caps.

This stock selection process uses a unique approach to cashflow analysis developed by Prashant Khemka, the founder of the management company, and former head of India and global emerging market equities at Goldman Sachs. The team believes this approach is superior to the standard valuation metrics fund managers use as it properly captures the cash generative qualities of a business.

The performance of the strategy suggests there may be value in this approach: since launch in July 2018, AIE has strongly outperformed the market thanks to stock selection, as we discuss in full in the Performance section. It has done so with steady outperformance in rising and falling markets too. The track record of the investment approach itself is longer, both in other funds run by the adviser company White Oak Capital Management, and in Prashant’s time at Goldman Sachs. AIE offers access to a process which has taken years to hone, and the track record indicates success in making stock selection the source of returns rather than sector or market cap weight.

Another key element to the process is the focus on corporate governance and forensic accounting. This has so far helped the team avoid various frauds and irregular accounting blow-ups that have affected some Indian companies and mainstream funds exposed to them. The White Oak Capital teams focus on finding companies where management’s interests and those of any controlling shareholders are strongly aligned with those of minority shareholders. The team are locally based in Mumbai, and as such bring local knowledge to this endeavour.

AIE has been constructed with similar ideas in mind about aligning interests. At the portfolio level, the analysts are compensated predominantly based on an attribution analysis of their sectors’ contribution to the portfolio performance. At the trust level, there is no management fee but only a performance fee worth 30% of the outperformance of the benchmark, the full details of which are in the Charges section. There is also an annual redemption facility which allows investors to exit in full at NAV less costs.

AIE has only £69m in net assets, although it has been growing steadily thanks to strong performance leading to demand for issuing shares – the trust has mainly traded on a premium since launch. Last November the board announced a one-year issuance programme which allows it to issue up to 125 million shares (at a premium) over the course of the next year through a variety of means (see the Discount section).

Analyst's View

Having met with Prashant, we were extremely impressed with the dedication to his craft and the attitude he has instilled at the heart of the team’s culture. Prashant has an iconoclastic attitude, which to us is reminiscent of investors such as Terry Smith: he has designed a process from the ground up, assuming nothing and developing his own metrics to capture what he wants to find. One of his tasks has been to find analysts who share his dedication and his belief that detailed cashflow analysis is the secret to good stock selection.

We understand that Prashant’s track record at Goldman Sachs was exceptional. During his nine years as CIO and Lead Portfolio Manager of GS India Equity (GSINDAI LX), the fund returned 118.1% in total returns, net of fees, compared to 25.7% for the MSCI India IMI benchmark. After he was appointed CIO and Lead Portfolio Manager of GS GEM Equity (GSEMEIA LX Equity), over almost four years the fund returned 33.2% in net total returns compared to 13.2% for the MSCI Emerging Markets benchmark. At White Oak he has built a team of dedicated stock analysts to implement the ideas and processes which he developed during his time at Goldman Sachs (and before), which he joined in 2000 before leaving to found White Oak Capital in 2017.

We think investors will benefit from the work put into the unique approach to stock analysis. India is particularly fertile ground for a stock-picking approach, according to recent Wall Street Journal research which concluded that active managers in India generate the highest and most consistent alpha among all markets in the world. The canny design of the trust, which aligns the interests of board, management and shareholders, should also give shareholders further confidence. The performance fee-only structure, which is earned over three-year performance, could ensure the team are highly motivated to consistently outperform, as could the annual redemption facility. Meanwhile, the compensation of the team being based predominantly on their performance in their sectors creates accountability and strong personal interest in AIE’s success.

Investors may ask themselves why they should bother with an India-only trust. We think India is one of the most exciting places to invest in the world given its economic potential, but like any other emerging market the Indian stock market has a wide spectrum of corporate governance standards which requires a dedicated expert hand to navigate. As India makes up less than 9% of the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, this is unlikely to be forthcoming from a generalist trust.

India’s strong demographics mean there is huge potential for businesses to grow serving the local market. Meanwhile, the current government is reform-minded and focused on a once-in-a-generation shift of the economy to the digital age. This, allied with an entrepreneurial culture, means that India offers a rich and diverse set of businesses to invest in. However, corporate governance assessment can be complicated, with companies often having family ownership or other key shareholders whose motivations and interests need to be understood. This is likely to reward local knowledge. We think the sheer weight of coverage that White Oak Capital Management can bring to bear on this portfolio (with nine dedicated analysts, all based in Mumbai) means that AIE has the potential to consistently generate insights others can’t and to create alpha.

Strong alignment of interests between board, manager and investors thanks to fee structure
Relatively short track record in this structure
Unique, rigorous fundamental analysis with track record of avoiding stock blow-ups
The trust is too small for many large investors and probably needs to grow
Globally experienced but locally based team with great access to Indian companies
Performance fee-only structure may provide unintended incentives depending on circumstances
Continue to Portfolio
2024 Kepler Growth Rated Fund

This trust has been awarded a rating by Kepler Trust Intelligence for growth... Find out more

Fund History

07 May 2024 Thomas McMahon speaks on the Money Makers podcast
Thomas McMahon, Head of Investment Companies Research, appears on the Money Makers podcast to discuss three current themes in the investment trust sector: BCPT and commercial property, ASIT and split-level trusts, and the UK micro-cap sector...
03 Apr 2024 Tall poppies
We highlight those trusts having to print new shares to keep up with demand…
19 Mar 2024 Results analysis: Ashoka India Equity
AIE has been the best-performing trust in its sector since its IPO in 2018…
15 Mar 2024 European momentum and a China alternative
We take a look back at the highlights of this week’s event…
06 Mar 2024 Gimme shelter
Growth opportunities to re-invest those magnificent profits into...
23 Feb 2024 Fund Analysis
AIE is the top-performing India fund since launch…
23 Feb 2024 An underrated edge
Company meetings give managers a level of access that is difficult for individual investors to obtain…
15 Mar 2024 Ashoka India Equity
Ayush Abhijeet
Rewatch this webinar as part of our month-long online series 'Themes for your ISA in 2024' hosted by the team at Kepler Trust Intelligence throughout March...
Watch Recording
26 Jan 2024 Heading to the polls
We look at elections around the world and what they mean for investors…
26 Jan 2024 No going back
AIE’s bumper 2023 looks on track to continue into 2024…
17 Jan 2024 Top of the Pops
We reveal the winners of our investment trust ratings for 2024…
10 Jan 2024 Definitely maybe
Fund flows and discounts may shed some light on a once-in-a-generation opportunity…
24 Nov 2023 An informational edge
Low levels of research create opportunity but aren’t enough to drive returns…
03 Nov 2023 The right analyst for the job
AIE’s extensive analyst expertise has helped deliver strong outperformance for the trust…
10 Oct 2023 Results analysis: Ashoka India Equity
AIE has continued to deliver strong performance for shareholders…
08 Sep 2023 Investing in India’s growth story
AIE is well-positioned to benefit from the country’s remarkable economic rise…
31 Jul 2023 Fund Analysis
AIE is the top-performing trust in the exciting India sector...
16 Jun 2023 Known unknowns
How should investors prepare for a prospective economic downturn?
16 Jun 2023 Still getting it
Earnings at many of AIE’s holdings remain strong…
28 Apr 2023 Will we see a resurgence in emerging markets?
We may be at the start of a new cycle…
30 Mar 2023 What I’m doing with my allowance this tax year
Two of our analysts debate whether to invest in punchier funds for the long term or take a more cautious view…
24 Mar 2023 ISA Event: Eastern promise
This week we heard from managers in Vietnam, India, China and more…
23 Mar 2023 Ashoka India Equity - A unique approach to a vital market
Ayush Abhijeet
Rewatch this webinar from our month-long online series 'A feast of ideas for your ISA' hosted by the team at Kepler Trust Intelligence throughout March...
Watch Recording
06 Mar 2023 Results analysis: Ashoka India Equity
AIE has continued to deliver strong performance for shareholders…
24 Feb 2023 Piece by piece
Diversification is beneficial, but that doesn’t mean a country-specific allocation should always be avoided…
06 Jan 2023 Realising India’s potential
AIE’s approach has enabled it to deliver strong results for investors…
21 Dec 2022 Reasons to be cheerful
We find reasons to be cheery this Christmas in the long-term trends which are going to transform society and generate returns…
09 Dec 2022 Bull in China shop considers other options
Which economies could benefit from global trends to reshoring and de-globalisation…
06 Dec 2022 Fund Analysis
A successful valuation model keeps AIE top of the performance charts…
18 Nov 2022 The end of globalisation?
A change in the pattern of global trade seems more likely than a dramatic reversal of offshoring...
14 Oct 2022 Do your own research
AIE’s extensive analyst resources are proving their worth…
06 Oct 2022 Results analysis: Ashoka India Equity
AIE continued its already impressive track record last year…
15 Sep 2022 Same same but different
We discuss the case for emerging markets at different stages of development…
13 Jul 2022 Ready player one
We wonder where, if anywhere, should investors look for returns after a tumultuous first half of the year…
16 Jun 2022 Focus on the long-term
AIE’s performance in 2022 shows why quality is important in the long-run…
10 Jun 2022 A balancing act
Two trusts that have made efforts to align their interests with shareholders have also produced good returns…
09 Jun 2022 Fund Analysis
AIE still best in its class, but now on a discount...
01 Jun 2022 Are emerging markets doomed?
Bunching together different parts of the world leads to an unnuanced view of the opportunities in emerging markets…
30 Mar 2022 You say tomato…
Do it yourself or put it into a global fund and leave it to the experts - our analyst debate the merits of each approach...
29 Mar 2022 Heads we win, tails we lose
Ashoka India Equity’s unique structure means it is strongly aligned with shareholder interests…
25 Mar 2022 Slides and Audio: Ashoka India Equity
Download the presentation and listen to the audio from our 'Ideas for your ISA' virtual Spring event on 16 March...
23 Mar 2022 Fifteen ideas for your ISA
Slides and audio from our event last week, featuring fund managers running money in every major market in the world...
04 Mar 2022 Results analysis: Ashoka India Equity
AIE has been the strongest trust in its peer group since launching in 2018…
10 Nov 2021 Fantastic growth funds (and where to find them)
We found them in India, Japan, frontier markets, healthcare and the global sector – and here they are…
10 Nov 2021 Slides and Audio: Ashoka India Equity
Download the presentation and listen to the audio from our 'Fantastic growth funds (and where to find them)' conference on 4 November...
27 Oct 2021 Fund Analysis
AIE has performed exceptionally well in its first three years…
13 Oct 2021 Beyond the Middle Kingdom
As momentum falters in the emerging markets powerhouse, we examine the options for investors outside China...
30 Sep 2021 Results analysis: Ashoka India Equity
AIE has reported another year of strong alpha generation…
31 Mar 2021 East End boys and West End girls
Our analysts debate whether the US or Asian stock markets will deliver the best returns over the next decade…
24 Mar 2021 Shoot to Thrill: ISA targets for long term growth
We all intend to invest for the long-term but can often be distracted by the news...
16 Mar 2021 Fund Analysis
AIE is far and away the top-performing India trust since it launched in July 2018…
08 Mar 2021 Results analysis: Ashoka India Equity
AIE has outperformed its benchmark over the last six months and is well positioned to continue delivering returns as the recovery in India gathers pace…
07 Oct 2020 Five ways to play Indian equities
India is struggling economically – but could there be a value opportunity in the stock market?
13 Aug 2020 Underground bangers
We look for hidden gems in the smaller end of the investment trust universe...
14 Jul 2020 Fund Analysis
AIE is the top-performing India specialist trust and is trading on a rare discount…
05 Jun 2020 Deep impact
Audio and presentations from our conference this week, where fifteen of the world's best fund managers described a profoundly altered investment landscape...
13 May 2020 Braving the new world
Join 15 of the UK's best known fund managers at the Kepler Trust Intelligence Virtual Summit to find out how they see the world after the pandemic...
05 Mar 2020 Don't panic: the case for investing in Asia this ISA season
We examine the relationship between stock market and GDP growth, before debating the case for an allocation to Asia...
29 Jan 2020 Fund Analysis
AIE offers a pure stock-picking portfolio of Indian equities with a unique fee structure…
View all

Welcome to Kepler Trust Intelligence

Please enter a valid email address
Please enter a valid password
Please enter a valid email address
Please check your email. If an account exists you'll be sent instructions on how to reset your password.
To ensure that we are able to provide content which is appropriate for you, please tell us a little about yourself.
Please choose an option
Please enter a company name
Please enter a location name
Please choose an option
Please enter a platform
Please choose an option
Please enter a trust
The information contained herein is not for distribution and does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of any offer to buy any securities in the United States to or for the benefit of any United States person (being residents of the United States or partnerships or corporations organised under the laws thereof). The investment funds referred to herein have not been registered in the United States under the Investment Company Act of 1940 and units or shares of such funds are not registered in the United States under the Securities Act of 1933.
Please confirm
Please select an option
See benefits
A free Kepler Trust Intelligence account allows you to access premium content including the ‘Kepler View’ – our verdict on the trusts we cover – and historical research so you can see how our view has changed over time. An account also unlocks useful facilities like the ‘follow’ button which lets you keep track of the trusts you’re interested in and as a logged in user you can also download PDFs of our research, and choose the layout of the page you’re reading to suit your preference. We will not share your details unless you give us permission to do so, and we won’t bombard you with emails – we only send one a week.
Please select an option
Please enter your first name
Please enter your last name
Please enter a valid email address
An account already exists with this email - have you forgotten your password?
Please enter a valid password
Please enter a valid password
How will this information be used? Your answers help us to tailor our content to relevant investment trusts, and to ensure that the asset allocation and portfolio strategy research we produce is appropriate to our userbase.
Our Website uses Cookies Cookies are small text files held on your computer. They allow us to give you the best browsing experience possible and mean we can understand how you use our site. Some cookies have already been set. You can delete and block cookies, but parts of our site won’t work without them. By using our website you accept our use of cookies. For further information please refer to the Kepler Privacy Notice.
Need help?

One more thing...

Did you know, you can 'follow' individual trusts on Kepler Trust Intelligence? Use the functions below to set up alerts and we'll send you research and updates on your chosen trusts.

Suggested trusts to follow

Browse all funds
Need help?
Current Site Kepler Trust Intelligence is produced by the investment companies team at Kepler Partners and is the UK’s premier source of detailed qualitative research on investment trusts. Absolute Hedge is a market leading UCITS research database providing proprietary research on funds, themes and strategies in the UCITS space. Kepler Liquid Strategies is a Dublin domiciled UCITS fund platform featuring a number of best-of-breed fund managers. Kepler Partners is a corporate advisory and asset raising boutique specialising in the regulated funds market in Europe and investment trusts in the UK.