The Dutch pension asset manager's Asia Pacific head of real estate says his team has just had one of its busiest years ever and that 2021 is looking similarly promising.
The firm has managed Japanese equities since 1992. Its bottom-up stock-picking style makes having an onshore presence desirable. Only recently, however, has the firm gained enough size to warrant the expense.
Last year it gained a number of new Japanese clients when it purchased fund management units based in London and Philadelphia from Deutsche Asset Management. Corfe says these units run multiple asset classes but are especially strong in fixed income, with their origins in the old Morgan Grenfell franchise. The addition of Japanese clientele combined with growing asset size made the idea of opening a Tokyo office compelling.
Pascal Masse will head the office. He is a Japanese equity manager who has been with Aberdeen since 2000. He will have three other investment professionals working with him in Tokyo.
The advisory license will allow the firm to undertake company research. Aberdeen plans to win a discretionary asset management license next year, to allow it to also manage funds onshore and do marketing, which will require a senior hire. The firm manages $1.8 billion in Japanese equities.
Mega players Nippon Life and Dai-ichi Life are looking for opportunities in higher-yield single-A US corporate bonds, which offer more appealing yields than stagnant domestic offerings.
The “lower for longer” monetary policy and stimulus packages, coupled with the rolling out of vaccine programmes favorably support real estate investing in the region, with offices and data centres presenting forward-looking opportunities.
As US fixed income default rates rose and yields fell during the pandemic, are Asian bonds, which have had more stable yields through 2020, looking more attractive?
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