Past, present and future
When AsianInvestor was launched in the year 2000 it coincided with the genesis of modern asset management in the region, forged from the fires of the Asian financial crisis. It has been our mission to report on the industry’s development ever since, and this 15th anniversary issue is dedicated both to reflecting on that journey, and forecasting where we might be in 15 years’ time. As such this edition is split into two sections: the Growth, and the Future.
For the Growth we have called upon seasoned industry figures who have witnessed the changes first-hand to contribute their insights, providing a commentary on where the industry has come from as we contemplate how it might develop. Alongside we feature a timeline of milestones compiled from 15 years of AsianInvestor coverage, interspersed with global events that had far-reaching ramifications.
We begin with Taiwan in the 1980s, a model for how the industry would develop in Asia. We move on throughout the region’s markets, notably the inauguration of pension systems in Hong Kong, Korea, Japan and Australia, as well developments regarding Singapore’s CPF and Malaysia’s EPF. The management of pension assets by third-party firms is one trend that shaped Japan’s growth and it offers lessons to India, where managers are not permitted yet to address the assets of pension providers, which is stymying the industry.
China’s globalisation has become the biggest story. Market growth in China and India will dictate much of the region’s development, particularly in Asean, where output and consumer demand depend on the region’s two giants. We also examine the rapid growth of exchange-traded products in Asia, which have seen their share of the mutual funds industry more than triple in eight years.
Meanwhile on the institutional side we trace the history of our AI300 list of Asia’s largest asset owners back to its roots in 2003, and examine the fastest growing segment: sovereign wealth funds. The seeds of these state investment vehicles were sowed from the Asian financial crisis. While the age of new SWFs is not over yet, they are facing questions over their identity and purpose.
For the Future we consider trends from the impact of dwindling resources and the future of retirement, to RMB internationalisation, the prospects for one Asia fund passport and the rising influence of China and India in global markets. Our final note is an analysis of the digital future and the rising importance of financial technology firms, giving traditional asset managers food for thought on what will be required to survive and prosper by 2030.
The next 15 years promise real change as the region’s asset management industry experiences its adolescent growth spurt. With your support, AsianInvestor will work hard to document the key developments.
How a sleepy island became one of the largest mutual fund markets in Asia
A colonial legacy that must now adapt to provide financial security to retirees
14 Hong Kong
As China became the dominant factor, did HK do enough to secure its future?
It has seen success as an investment hub, but has Singapore failed as a funds centre?
A key market for third-party institutional managers and retail fund distributors
The institutional market has grown strongly while its funds market has also revived
The pace of change accelerates, but the nation is a long way from global dominance
Undoubtedly successful as a mature pension savings market, now more outward-looking
A new optimism provides opportunities for asset management and pensions
As core countries of this regional bloc show their true potential, the future looks bright
40 Islamic finance
Defying the sceptics, sharia investments are slowly integrating into the mainstream
Asian listings have grown and the variety of products improved, but sales need a boost
46 AI 300
Over 15 years, we have seen the emergence of China and the growth of sovereign funds
Sovereign investor assets have grown strongly, but they now face an identity crisis
52 Data Centre
AI examines trends in retail and institutional wealth and mutual fund growth across the region
55 Grantham on growth
Jeremy Grantham, chief investment strategist at GMO, discusses the trends that will shape the next 20 years
60 This is your future
Environmental, social and governance funds will become part of mainstream investment, but only if they can deliver results
62 Portfolio predictor
Investors must be mindful that China and India will form an increasingly large component of emerging market portfolios
64 The future of retirement in East Asia
Societies understand they can’t rely on family support, but there is a divergence on where responsibility should lie
66 RMB: all change by 2020
As RMB internationalisation plays out, we assess measures for China to be fully integrated into the global economy
68 Breaking down borders
How many cross-border fund passport regimes will there be in 15 years? Possibly one, or even none at all
70 Keeping growth organic
It may be some time before we see much in the way of Asian asset managers getting involved in mergers and acquisitions
72 Technology shift
Asset managers without a strategy to address efficiencies revolutionising the industry will die out
74 AsianInvestor through the ages
From way back when AI was called Pensions Asia, we take a look at some of AI’s notable covers from the last 15 years
Assessing the top 5 Asia-related books selected from the reviews published at the back of AI since 2012