Since its founding in 1991, Matthews Asia has concentrated its efforts and expertise on Asia. As an independent, privately owned firm, Matthews Asia is the largest dedicated Asia investment specialist in the United States, with offices in San Francisco, London, and Hong Kong. Throughout our 25-year history, we have applied our high conviction, bottom-up, fundamental investment philosophy, with a focus on long-term investment performance, to Asian investment. As of December 31, 2017, Matthews Asia had US$33.9 billion in assets under management.
Our team members share a set of important qualities and values that embody who we are and how we serve our clients. Deep experience, focused attention, accountability, client service, collaboration, and a sense of humility form the foundation of our work. To this foundation, we add our demonstrated, long-term conviction in Asia, our deep understanding of the Asian business landscape and of Asian cultures, and a commitment to contributing to the health and well-being of the communities in which we live and work.
Our singular focus on Asia is essential to who we are. But as much as we value what we hold in common, we also value our differences. Our diversity of background, of experience, and of thought, along with our varied perspectives and approaches to problem-solving, are essential to investing successfully in Asia—the most diverse region on earth.
The 46 members of our investment team† each have deep experience in Asia and share a commitment to helping you understand and leverage Asia’s long-term growth potential. They bring to that effort a range of skills, experiences, and backgrounds, with 32 team members hailing from Asia, speaking 14 different Asian languages and dialects. The extraordinary diversity of our team reflects the extraordinary diversity of Asia itself.
Working from our headquarters in San Francisco and offices in Hong Kong and London, the 46 members of our investment team† are deeply rooted in Asia.
At Matthews Asia, our history is important to us because it is closely entwined with the economic, political, and social development of Asia. The region’s fascinating, complex, rapidly-changing geopolitical landscape was the crucible that formed our core values and approach to investing.
Matthews Asia’s steady growth over the course of its history has been rooted in the evolution of Asia’s markets. When our founder, Paul Matthews, first visited Asia in 1978, most countries were closed to foreign investment. With the exceptions of Hong Kong, Singapore, and Japan, most were poor. But as he worked in the region over the course of several years and witnessed its transformation, Paul became convinced that Asia’s growth was likely to outpace that of the rest of the world.
In 1991, Paul founded Matthews Asia to invest on the basis of that fundamental belief. Over the past 25 years, our conviction—our belief in the long-term growth of Asia—was forged through a number of extremely volatile episodes, from the Asian financial crisis in the late 1990s, to the SARS crisis, to a range of geopolitical scares, to the bursting of China’s equity bubble and the recent global financial crisis. These challenges have tested and ultimately strengthened Matthews Asia’s original, long-term investment philosophy. Our unwavering focus, discipline, and consistent track-record throughout market cycles distinguishes Matthews Asia from its peers.
At Matthews Asia, our commitment to active, long-term investment extends to the communities around the globe in which we live and work. Through our corporate responsibility and philanthropic efforts, we strive to help our local communities reach their full potential.
We believe that an appreciation of sustainable and socially responsible business, health, and environmental practices begins in the office, with our own Matthews Asia community. Two of our formal committees illustrate that principle:
Matthews Asia Sustainability Committee
This committee promotes sustainable business and investment (including environmentally sustainable travel practices) throughout the Matthews Asia community, as well as health and wellness practices among our staff.
Matthews Asia Corporate Volunteer Committee
This committee promotes Matthews Asia’s “impact month,” which encourages employees to give to communities and causes in the Bay Area. Through this committee, we work together to make a difference through local organizations such as the Edith Witt Senior Community, Asian Community Garden, Bush Rec Center, Treasure Island Job Corp, and Richmond District Neighborhood Center.
Matthews Asia Charitable Giving Program
In 2016, we established the Matthews Asia Charitable Giving Program (the “Program”) to further expand our philanthropic work. The Program includes two major components: Grants from Matthews Asia to select partner organizations, and employer matching of individual employees’ charitable contributions.
Room to Read
At Matthews Asia, we believe that literacy is the cornerstone of all learning. Since 2013, we have supported Room to Read, a non-profit organization that seeks to transform the lives of millions of children in developing countries to reach their fullest potential by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education. Our contributions and partnership with Room to Read have supported school libraries and literacy efforts in Nepal, India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
To learn more about Room to Read, visit www.roomtoread.org.
In addition to re-investing in healthy, vibrant communities through our philanthropic contributions, Matthews Asia has committed to incorporating environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations within the very fabric of our investment process.
In February 2016, Matthews Asia became a signatory to the UNPRI. By doing so, we committed ourselves to consider the investment implications of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues within our portfolio management and decision making processes, when appropriate and when consistent with our fiduciary duties. At Matthews Asia, we believe consideration of ESG issues is particularly relevant in Asia, where we find many of the world’s sustainability challenges—and potential solutions.
Since our founding in 1991, a cornerstone our investment process has been a focus on identifying companies that adhere to good corporate governance practices with respect for minority shareholders. The broader consideration of environmental and social issues into the investment approach is a natural evolution of that investment process.
To learn more about the UNPRI, visit: www.unpri.org.