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.

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Ashoka India Equity Investment Trust (AIE) has been the best-performing India specialist trust since it launched in July 2018. In that time AIE has more than doubled the return of its benchmark, while its peers have each underperformed. As we discuss in the performance section, the vast majority of excess returns have come from stock selection rather than sector or market cap allocation.

The performance is built upon the stock selection of a large, dedicated team of India specialists. AIE’s investment advisor is White Oak, founded by Prashant Khemka, former CIO and lead portfolio manager for Global Emerging Markets Equity at Goldman Sachs. White Oak employs a team of ten analysts, all based in India and all focused on specific sectors. They are compensated based upon the contribution of their stock picks to returns, which incentivises them to pick only companies they think will outperform the market (see management section).

This large team – the largest employed by an Indian specialist investment trust – implements a quality growth strategy with a unique feature. This is a focus on an adjusted cash flow metric which aims to uncover those companies which can generate marginal cashflow with the least additional use of capital. As we discuss in the portfolio section, this is accompanied by a strong focus on valuation, which means the team are happy to turn over their portfolio rapidly when valuations shift.

This strong performance has led the trust’s shares to regularly trade on a premium to NAV which is 0.2% at the time of writing. Apart from the stock-selection process, key distinguishing features include the performance-fee-only charging structure designed to align the managers’ interests with those of shareholders (see charges).

Analyst's View

AIE’s excellent performance since launch seems to be built on strong foundations. To have as many as ten analysts working on single country portfolios is unusual and should be highly beneficial to the alpha generation task. From speaking to the management team, their passion and commitment to their roles is clear. Additionally, the strategy is clear and well-defined, with a well-understood process for identifying a strong company and the right valuation. Although it is dangerous to expect past success to continue, and markets can always surprise, we think all the right building blocks are in place.

We also like the performance-fee-only structure. This means that investors do not pay a fee if the managers cannot succeed in outperforming their benchmark over a three-year period, and incentivises the team very effectively to repeat their early success. That said, the fee can be high when relative returns have been exceptional (see charges). However, it is worth remembering that NAV returns are net of the impact of accrued fees, and so far investors have been significantly better off if invested in the ‘expensive’ AIE rather than ‘cheaper’ peers.

We note emerging markets funds are increasingly dominated by China and North Asia and are unlikely to invest much in India, which is just 9% of the MSCI Emerging Markets index. As we discuss in the performance section, India is benefitting from a period of significant pro-business reforms which have increased the country’s growth potential. We think investing in the country should have strong appeal for long-term growth investors.

Bull Bear
The best track record amongst India specialist peers since inception
Currently too small for many large investors (but issuing shares regularly)
Large team of dedicated analysts can cover the whole market
As a single-country trust, highly exposed to the politics and economy of one state
Fee structure aligns managers’ interests with those of investors
Performance fee can be high when earned (although overall fees will be low if it is not)
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

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