Emerging Markets Growth Team

We build active, concentrated portfolios that offer differentiated exposure to emerging markets, applying a long-term lens to seek the best opportunities across the spectrum.

polen capital_emerging marketing growth team


Expertise & Collaboration

Independent, curious thinking drives our team. Each member contributes as a research analyst and has a voice, helping to build group knowledge and insights.


Location: Hong Kong and London, UK 
Head of Team: Damian Bird, Portfolio Manager & Analyst 
Average Team Member Experience: 17 years (as of 03-31-2024) 

Our Investment Philosophy

High-Quality Growth Companies

Concentrated Portfolios

Long-Term Horizon

Independent Mindset



Our Strategic Approach

Polen Emerging Markets Growth Stock Selection Process

We invest independently of benchmark allocations, seeking companies with difficult-to-replicate competitive advantages. With a business-owner’s mindset, we conduct deep, on-the-ground due diligence to identify attractive investment opportunities. We focus on themes of domestic consumption, economic catch-up, and digitalization—all in pursuit of growth and long-term staying power.

The Compounding Machine

Competitively Advantaged Businesses
  • Wide and sustainable competitive moats
  • High return on invested capital (ROIC)
Structural Growth Opportunities
  • Long term growth runway
  • Opportunities to continuously reinvest capital at high rates of return
Trustworthy Stewards of Capital
  • Strategically focused management
  • Aligned with shareholder interests
  • Robust track record of capital allocation
Self-Financed Growth & Robust Balance Sheets
  • Attractive cash flows
  • Not reliant on external debt or equity financing

There is no guarantee that companies included in the Portfolio will exhibit all of these qualities. This information is not intended to be construed to equate to the expected or projected future performance/returns of a Polen Capital investment or portfolio.

The Polen Emerging Markets Growth strategies typically hold 25 to 40 companies that the portfolio management team feels are the highest-quality growth names. Examples as of 03/31/2024 include:

Anta is a leading sportswear company in China that operates a tiered multi-brand portfolio. This portfolio includes leading Chinese and established global sportswear brands. The success of Anta is built on a deep knowledge of the Chinese consumer, consistent operational execution, an asset-light structure and strong control and visibility over its supply chain. This typically results in leading operating margins and returns. We believe future growth will be driven by market share gains and the growing importance of wellness as Chinese consumers move up the income ladder.

Dino is a Polish supermarket chain, operating standardized local discount stores. Unlike its peers, Dino focuses purely on the rural Polish consumer, a format which has remained unchanged since its founder refined the formula in 2010. Since listing in 2017, store numbers, sales, and earnings have compounded at healthy rates, while averaging a return on invested capital of close to 20%. Continued growth is expected to be driven by further store expansion, shifts in consumer behaviour, market share gains and increasing returns on capital as the store base matures.

dLocal is a payments processing company headquartered in Uruguay. It focuses on processing online payments for large, multinational enterprise customers in Emerging Markets, enabling them to seamlessly make and receive payments in over 35 countries in any currency. Solving this has enabled the business to grow rapidly to a Total Processing Volume of over US $10bn in 2022, just six years after its formation. This exceptional growth has been self-funded and low marginal operating costs leads to an attractive margin structure. Additionally, serving as a digital intermediary means capital intensity is low, which drives strong cash flow generation. We expect the business to continue to compound over the coming years.

Investing in emerging markets requires a long-term framework. It is over many years that billions will escape from poverty, cities will rise to the sky, and corporate champions will develop.

Damian Bird
Head of Team, Portfolio Manager & Analyst

Find out how Polen Capital can go beyond for you.

Get in Touch

Polen Capital Management, LLC is an independent registered investment advisor.

The information is provided for illustrative purposes only. Opinions and views expressed constitute the judgment of Polen Capital as of the period indicated , may involve a number of assumptions and estimates which are not guaranteed, and are subject to change without update. Although the information and any opinions or views given have been obtained from or based on sources believed to be reliable, no warranty or representation is made as to their correctness, completeness or accuracy. Opinions, estimates, forecasts, and statements of financial market trends that are based on current market conditions constitute our judgment and are subject to change without update, including any forward-looking estimates or statements which are based on certain expectations and assumptions. The views and strategies described may not be suitable for all clients. This information does not identify all the risks (direct or indirect) or other considerations which might be material to you when entering any financial transaction.

Holdings are subject to change. The holdings, as well as other data, are as of the period indicated and should not be considered as a recommendation to purchase, hold or sell any particular security. There is no assurance that any of the securities noted will remain in a portfolio at the time you review this information. Actual holding and percentage allocation in individual client portfolios may vary and are subject to change. The securities discussed do not necessarily represent the entire portfolio. It should not be assumed that any of the holdings discussed were or will prove to be profitable or that the investment recommendations or decisions we make in the future will be profitable. A list of all securities held in this portfolio in the prior year is available upon request. Past performance does not guarantee future results and profitable results cannot be guaranteed.

Absolute Return: is the percent amount that an asset rises or declines in value in a given period. Active Share: is a measure of the percentage of stock holdings in a manager’s portfolio that differs from the benchmark index. Excess Return: returns achieved above and beyond the return of a benchmark.