Dear Valued Shareholders,
We are writing to inform you that effective January 22, 2019, Taizo Ishida resumed lead portfolio management responsibilities for the Matthews Japan Fund. This change follows the decision by Kenichi Amaki to leave the firm in order to pursue another opportunity.
Taizo has been a portfolio manager on the Matthews Japan Fund since joining the firm in 2006, and has been instrumental in developing the Fund's investment philosophy and approach. Taizo is resuming the Lead Manager position he held on the Fund from April 2007 to April 2015 before he stepped down to a Co-Manager position. As such, we do not anticipate any changes to the Fund's investment strategy and portfolio construction process. Furthermore, given Taizo's 12 years of experience on the Fund as Lead Manager or Co-Manager, he naturally has a deep understanding of the portfolio and we expect a seamless transition.
Also effective today, Shuntaro Takeuchi becomes Co-Manager following two years as Senior Research Analyst on the Fund. This promotion, which had been planned prior to Kenichi's departure, recognizes the significant contribution Shuntaro has made to the Japan Fund. It also recognizes the increasing client and portfolio responsibilities he has taken on during this time. There are no other changes to this portfolio management team.
In addition to the changes above, the Matthews Japan Fund is now reopened to new investors. The Fund was closed to most new investors, beginning July 29, 2016, in an effort to slow the pace of inflows into the Fund at a time when the overall asset size increased considerably over a relatively short period of time. The decision to restrict access to the Fund was taken in order to maintain the integrity of the Fund's investment process, and is one that we believe benefits shareholders over the long term. We now believe the Fund has the capacity to accept new assets while re-opening the Fund also provides the investment team with the ability to better balance subscription and redemption activity.
Finally, we would like to take this opportunity to thank Kenichi for his contributions to Matthews Asia over the past 10 years and wish him well in his future endeavors. Kenichi has been a valued member of our team. We are confident that in having Taizo resume the Lead Manager position, supported by Shuntaro and our 47-member investment team, we have the strength and depth to ensure a seamless transition for investors in the Fund.
If you have any questions regarding the Matthews Asia Funds, please visit our website at matthewsasia.com or contact our Shareholder Services team at 800-789-ASIA (2742). Thank you for your investment in Matthews Asia.
|William J. Hackett
Chief Executive Officer
||Robert Horrocks, PhD
Chief Investment Officer