This is one of our rated funds. They’re the ones our experts believe will do well for investors over the longer term. Top of the class!

Schroder ISF Asian Total Return C GBP

An Asian/Australasia equity fund that aims to mitigate some downside risk through derivatives based on a top-down view.

  • 45744.71p
    Price (Inc)

    These are the shares in the fund that pay out an income to clients. The income is made up of the total dividends – the money a company can pay out to its investors – from the companies in the fund.

  • -
    Price (Acc)

    These are the shares in the fund that don’t pay out an income to clients. Any dividends – the money a company can pay out to its investors – are reinvested into companies in the fund. Despite no income, the shares should be worth more over time. Good incentive, eh?

  • 3.09% 0.00%

    Initial charge

    Some funds charge you when you first invest, which is aptly known as the initial charge. They’re usually between 3-5% but at Bestinvest, we usually don’t charge you a penny!

  • 1.00%
    Annual management charge

    This is how much the fund management company charges to run the fund. It’s like paying a babysitter, dog sitter or house sitter (that makes well-informed, heavily researched changes to improve your baby/dog/house when needed).

  • 1.30%
    Ongoing charges

    This stands for Ongoing Charges Figure. It’s the cost of running a fund and includes admin fees, manager fees, administration costs, etc.

  • 2.20%

    How much the fund is currently paying out in income to investors. It’s NOT to be confused with the overall growth of a fund – a very different thing indeed. It’s also NOT a guarantee of future pay-outs, just a snapshot. This is more what it’s not than what it is…

Prices as at 20 January 2022, fund commentary last updated 19 October 2021

The fund aims to provide capital growth and income more than the MSCI AC Asia Pacific ex-Japan Index over a three-to-five-year period by investing in equities of Asia Pacific companies. Managers King Fuei Lee and Robin Parbrook look for mainly large and mega-cap companies which have consistently created shareholder value, have high quality earnings and strong corporate governance. Their holdings include ‘Global Leaders’ such as Samsung Electronics, tech groups powering the ‘New’ economy including China’s Tencent and Indian banks benefiting from domestic demand including HDFC. The managers take a bottom-up investment approach, whilst using financial derivatives such as futures to mitigate losses in falling markets.

Fund summary

Launched July, 2008
Size £4,878m
Yield 2.20%
Charging basis Capital
Dividends paid Jan


Standard initial charge 3.09%
Initial charge via Bestinvest 0.00%
Additional bid/offer spread 0.00%
Annual management charge 1.00%
Ongoing charges figure 1.30%


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Investment process

The managers believe that over the long-term it is a company’s fundamentals which drive share prices. They have a huge investment universe taking in companies listed on Asian ex-Japan stock exchanges as well as Australia and New Zealand. Their selection process begins with quantitative screens using valuation, momentum and quality ratios such as dividend and cash flow yields. They also consider Schroder analyst grades and look for “shareholder value creators” - companies where the return on invested capital is greater than average capital cost. On a qualitative basis the managers favour companies with high quality earnings, strong corporate governance and return profiles gained from high barriers to entry and competitive advantages. When they have identified attractive stocks, they consider whether they should be hedged or not to protect against the risk of adverse price movements. This decision is based on long-term fundamentals including dividend and earnings yield as well as country-specific risks. If a stock has upside to fair value and the country model is positive, then it will get a bigger weighting in the fund. The maximum is 10% for single holding in the portfolio which typically comprises between 50 and 60 stocks.

Managers King Fuei Lee and Robin Parbrook were involved in developing the concept of this fund and have been in charge since launch in 2007. Their long-term knowhow is supported by a 34-strong team of highly experienced analysts on the ground in 6 countries. Lee and Parbrook have a clear and consistent investment process where both growth and capital preservation are key. Their use of derivatives aims to reduce volatility in the fund - which could be a concern given that Taiwan and China have the biggest country weightings - allowing the managers to focus on their bottom-up stock selection to drive performance. The process has resulted in strong risk-adjusted returns over time and consistent outperformance over three-year rolling periods. Schroders may be known as a value investment house, but this strategy has a growth tilt and is a highly differentiated bright spot within its product offerings.

Manager research

Average monthly relative returns

  • 17/18 0.13%
  • 18/19 -0.17%
  • 19/20 0.01%
  • 20/21 0.52%
  • 21/22 0.19%

Bestinvest MRI

  • 3 years 0.24%
  • 5 years 0.13%
  • Career 0.34%
  • 3 years 94.40%
  • 5 years 92.90%
  • Career 99.60%

Performance figures are based on the average of monthly percentage returns relative to the benchmark index.

Robin Parbrook / King Fuei Lee

Parbrook is Co-Head of Asian Equity Alternative Investments and is based in London. He has over 25 years of experience having joined Schroders in 1990. In his tenure he has spent years in London, Edinburgh, Hong Kong and Singapore to focus on Asian investment strategies. He has an MA in Economics and Accountancy from Edinburgh University. Fuei Lee is Co-Head of Asian Equity Alternative Investments and is based in Singapore. He has over 16 years of experience having begun his career in 2000 initially covering global stocks. In 2001 he moved to work with the Asian investment team in Singapore.

Track record

Robin Parbrook / King Fuei Lee has 13.3 years experience of managing mutual funds in this sector. Over this period the average monthly return relative to the benchmark index has been +0.34%. During the worst period of relative performance (from February 2009 - September 2009) there was a decline of 9% relative to the index. The worst absolute loss has been 22%. Statistically, we estimate the probability that this fund manager is adding value, rather than being lucky, is more than 99%.

Periods of worst performance

Absolute -22.00% (August 2008 - November 2008)
Relative -9.00% (February 2009 - September 2009)

About the MRI

Our unique indicator: the Bestinvest Manager Record Index (MRI) measures the likelihood that the fund manager is adding value through their decisions. It is based on their performance record over the course of their career, adjusted for the amount of risk taken. MRI is an important contributor to our fund rating system but it is also vital to take account of qualitative factors. It is also very important to select funds to form a cohesive portfolio with an appropriate overall risk level.


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50-60 stocks

Key Investor Information