It is with mixed emotions that I’m leaving Franklin Templeton Investments, but I’m excited about the next chapter of my life and what the future will bring. It’s been a bittersweet whirlwind of activity after I announced plans to retire after more than 30 years with the company.

You will definitely hear more from me in the future, but I plan to turn this blog over to the talented team of portfolio managers and research analysts at Franklin Templeton. They will share their expert views on emerging markets, and I am confident you will continue to find the commentaries insightful, thought-provoking and entertaining.

In my final days with the company, I received a lot of questions about what I plan to do next, some of which you may have already read about in the financial press.

Q: Mark, why did you decide now is the time to leave Franklin Templeton and shift gears?

A: It’s been a very difficult decision! Thirty years seems like a long time but it has gone by very, very fast for me as I have been doing so many interesting projects. Since I joined the firm in 1987, the team and the amount of assets under management have grown tremendously. I decided that it was time to try something new, to pursue activities and personal interests I didn’t have enough time to devote to. I want to write at least one more book, for example.

I must emphasize that I’m leaving behind a very strong and experienced team. Some members of the team that started with me 30 years ago are still with the firm, and many others have been there 10 years or more. So, it should be a smooth transition for our investors. The news of my departure within Franklin Templeton wasn’t a huge shock; it was something that the team and company had been planning for. Templeton Emerging Markets Group CIO Stephen Dover has been in charge of the team for over a year now, and I think it was a good move for him to take the reins at that time because it makes my departure a bit easier. Of course, it’s still difficult for me to leave!