One out of four people in Asia will be over 60 by 2030, according to the Asian Development Bank.
Across the region, people are living longer, increasing the importance of retirement planning and solutions.
There are important developments occurring across the region, both in the form of government policy initiatives to individuals taking retirement planning more seriously.
Apart from state-sponsored schemes, different routes to retirement planning are being explored within the region as well.
Against this backdrop, AsianInvestor decided to highlight the individuals who stand out for helping drive the industry forward by improving the investment processes, operations and accessibility of pension funds.
To pick our candidates, we spoke to several pension fund experts, investment consultants, custodians and senior executives at asset management companies.
Our conversations threw up several names and the editorial team had to undertake its own research to whittle down the list the 20 individuals we decided to showcase for 2023.
This year, in addition to the pension funds headquartered in the region, we also included some international pension fund executives because of their strong influence in the region and the sophistication of the pension funds’ operations.
This list -- which is not ranked -- will be rolled out online over the next two weeks, starting tomorrow.
The names will be revealed based on alphabetical order of countries where the pension funds are based.
The executives on the list come from pension funds based in Australia, China, Canada, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Taiwan and Thailand.
This list is by no means exhaustive, and the aim is to recognise and showcase the individuals who are doing outstanding work in pushing the industry to improve and modernise.
BIG INSTITUTIONAL INVESTORS
Asia is already home to some of the world’s largest pension markets, such as Australia and Japan.
Pension funds, in major markets, have today become instrumental institutional investors with the ability to influence both local and international financial markets.
Pension funds typically invest in capital markets to boost their returns and build up reserves for future withdrawals.
Depending on the local industry’s development, the risk appetite of one pension fund can be vastly different to another’s.
For example, Australia’s super funds have a greater allocation to equities while Japanese pensions have higher allocations to bonds. Some pension funds are allowed to invest a proportion of their assets overseas (Malaysia), while others can only invest in domestic assets (India).
Pension funds investing in Asia face a slew of challenges – growing regulatory burdens, increasing investor demand on sustainability, business models challenged by technology and a declining working age population in some markets.
To tackle these issues, reforms are progressing albeit at a different pace in each regional market.
We were cognisant of these challenges as we picked the individuals on our list.
Here is our final Top 20 list: