BNY Mellon has brought in five asset managers to offer strategies through its new separately managed account (SMA) business in Hong Kong and expects to add up to four more in the next three months.

The first fund houses on board include BlackRock, Capital International, Henderson Global Investors, Lazard Asset Management and UOB AM. These are in addition to the four in-house firms on the platform: BNY Mellon Asset Management Japan, Mellon Capital Management Corporation, The Boston Company and CenterSquare.

The platform – run by AJ Harper – will offer high-net-worth individuals access to SMAs for as little as $1 million, well below the typical $100 million minimum SMA investment for institutions globally.

It will also offer asset managers new distribution opportunities. Robert Prugue, CEO of Lazard Asset Management, say his firm’s strategies have largely been offered to institutions. “The launch of this SMA platform provides us with a significant opportunity as it opens a new distribution channel in Asia.”

Tom Quantrille, Capital International’s Asia CEO, echoes the sentiment, adding that his firm is looking forward to tapping into “a new segment of investors”.

The asset managers will offer Asean, Asia-Pacific ex-Japan, Japan, US, European and global equity strategies. The platform will initially focus on equities, says Harper, who hopes to sign on fixed income houses in the second half of the year.

In addition to fund firms, BNY Mellon aims to partner with private banks to help drive the SMA business by offering the service to their clients. Harper said the firm is in talks with several, although declined to say whether the firm has formerly partnered with any.

BNY Mellon received the required licence from Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission in June.