Mobius moves aside, successor appointed

Mark MobiusMark Mobius, emerging markets veteran, will step down from day-to-day management responsibilities in Franklin Templeton's emerging markets group, which he established 30 years ago.

The group’s US parent, Franklin Templeton, says it is looking to consolidate its emerging markets operations.

Mobius has invested in emerging markets for 40 years and joined Templeton in 1987. He will remain at the firm as executive chairman and portfolio manager, while control of the emerging markets group will be passed to Stephen Dover, currently chief investment officer of Franklin Local Asset Management.

Dover will also assume the role of emerging markets group’s CIO and the Templeton emerging markets equity teams will merge into a single entity. The changes are due to take effect on April 15.

A spokesperson for the firm said the changes were part of an "ongoing focus on succession planning and leadership development", and Mobius has no plans to retire fully as yet. The group says it hopes Mobius will remain a “thought leader”, sharing his macro emerging markets perspective for years to come.

Mobius’ exit was trailed in advance last year, when he downgraded his position as lead manager on the £1.4 billion (€1.8 billion) Templeton Emerging Markets Investment Trust (TEMIT), which he’d held since 1989. He nonetheless remained co-manager on the trust, second to new lead Carlos Hardenberg.

The move comes at a troubled juncture for Franklin Templeton and TEMIT. The emerging markets specialist has suffered from significant outflows in recent months, as investors have pulled out of emerging markets en-masse. The Trust’s share price has fallen by 28% over the past five years, and shares trade at 15% below net asset value, their most significant discount since the 2008 financial crisis.

Franklin Templeton manages assets of $850 billion (€746 billion) globally.

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