Emily Alejos, CIO at Cartica: Leading the Way in ESG Investing in the Emerging Markets

Emily Alejos

Emily Alejos – Chief Investment Officer

Emily Alejos joined Cartica Management as Co-CIO in April 2018 after a nationwide search for a talented and experienced investor in emerging markets. Alejos was the perfect hire for Cartica, a proven investor and leader and a great cultural fit. After nine months, she took the reigns as Chief Investment Officer, working closely with the firm’s founders and Investment Committee. 

Being CIO at Cartica is the culmination of a long and successful career investing in global equities and emerging markets. Before joining Cartica, Emily was Co-CIO and Portfolio Manager/Analyst at Tradewinds Global Investors, and before that, she worked at Credit Suisse first as Portfolio Manager and Head of Latin American Equities and then as PM/Analyst on the International Focus Team. At Cartica, the team is focused on identifying mispriced EM companies with good business models, good management teams, and strong or improving balance sheets. The team actively engages with portfolio companies on ESG and other strategic matters with the long-term goal of increasing shareholder value. “Integrating the team’s expertise on corporate governance issues and working to improve portfolio companies’ ESG profiles by engaging with them on best practices, is what sets us apart and it’s what we love to do!” Alejos said.

Emily hopes that “the market will increasingly recognize the importance of both ESG and diversity of opinion, not just because investors enquire about it but because it’s the right thing to do as it delivers better results. It is also vital that investment managers hold themselves to the same high standards that they hold their portfolio companies to. It is clear our industry urgently needs to embrace independent thought and diversity and inclusion; the pathetic numbers tell the story.”

ESG’s growing traction as an investment strategy has come sharply into focus during the Covid-19 pandemic with almost nine out of ten sustainable indexes doing better than their non-sustainable counterparts in the first four months of 2020, according to BlackRock.

“The trend of acceptance of ESG globally is improving dramatically and not just for investors. It is critical to every company’s success to create a sustainable business model.” Emily is inspired by innovation, entrepreneurship, and management teams willing to challenge themselves and the market to bring about positive change. She is encouraged by the increasing recognition of the importance of emotional intelligence in management teams and their understanding that these values will produce a higher quality product and service.

Always mindful of the importance of humility, she maintains that a great leader should “support and encourage their colleagues to take risks when appropriate and to focus on adding value personally and collectively where they can.” She works closely with her team, providing support and guidance for everyone to excel and grow. “There is so much work to be done and we need to show people how to do it.” Alejos says.

With Cartica’s innovative, proven and disciplined approach to actively investing in emerging markets, it seems fair to say that Emily Alejos is already providing the great leadership to which she aspires.

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