Emerging-markets star, 'BRIC' coiner O'Neill to exit

GSAM chairman pegged emerging markets as global drivers in '01

By Jason Kephart

Feb 5, 2013 @ 3:50 pm (Updated 4:37 pm) EST

investing, goldman sachs, BRIC, emerging markets
Jim O'Neill, chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management. Bloomberg

Jim O'Neill, the man who put emerging markets on the map, is stepping down as chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management later this year. The company has not announced a replacement.

Mr. O'Neill joined Goldman in 1995. His biggest moment came in 2001 when he put the spotlight on emerging markets and famously coined the “BRIC” acronym for Brazil, Russia, India and China, which he saw as the drivers of global growth.

His call turned out to be dead-on. Over the past 10 years, emerging markets, as measured by the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, have returned more than 270%, while the U.S., as measured by the S&P 500, has returned less than 30%.

In 2005, Mr. O'Neill looked beyond the BRIC countries and labeled Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Korea, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, Turkey and Vietnam as the “next 11” countries to be growth leaders.

Goldman launched its N-11 Equity Fund (GSYAX) in 2011, and it's off to a good start. The fund had a 24% return in 2012, which ranked it among the top 15% of emerging-markets funds, according to Morningstar Inc.

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