Emerging markets were the hot trend in 2009 with investors moving to exchange-traded funds to take advantage of strong growth in countries such as China, India, Brazil and Russia.

Now the TCW Group, a global asset manager serving institutional and individual investors, is betting that emerging markets will sizzle in 2010 as well. On Monday the TCW Group announced that it has launched a new mutual fund: the TCW Emerging Markets Equities Fund. The new fund will invest across the large, mid and small-cap emerging market universe.

Mark Madden and David Robbins, portfolio managers with 39 years of combined experience investing in emerging markets, will manage the new fund.

“Over the next few years, growth in emerging markets will be substantially higher than in the developed economies, which means that EM companies will deliver greater earnings growth,” Madden said. “Emerging economies continue to benefit from both globalization and expanding domestic consumption.” Prior to joining TCW, Madden was the lead portfolio manager at Ninth Wave Capital Management, focusing on emerging markets, as well as the sole manager of $14 billion in dedicated emerging markets assets at OppenheimerFunds.

Robbins, a managing director with TCW Worldwide Opportunities and the portfolio manager of its emerging markets fixed income strategy, said that these economies are also better positioned than developed economies coming out of the credit crisis. They have a faster growing middle class and less consumer and corporate debt.

“We are excited to launch this new fund that will target well-run companies in some of the world's fastest-growing economies,” Chuck Baldiswieler, president and chief executive officer of TCW Funds Inc., said in a press release.

The TCW Emerging Markets Equities Fund is an addition to TCW’s other emerging markets fund offerings, including the TCW Emerging Markets Income Fund and an emerging markets sovereign and corporate debt mutual fund. TCW has approximately $108 billion in assets under management.