MAS names sustainability head; Malaysia’s EPF appoints COO and CFO; GIC PE head for SEA leaves; State Super hires new exec; Hesta appoints chief growth officer, chief Debby Blakey appointed to corporate governance board; ex-BlackRock exec joins IQ-EQ in Singapore; HSBC AM builds direct real estate team; ex-Vanguard head of distribution joins LGIM; Sanne names Singapore head; and more
SGI Management provides smoothed-growth funds, a $600 billion industry mainly provided by UK-based insurance companies. The SGI funds were previously managed by Circus Capital, a Hong Kong boutique that also ran a fund investing in British military spin-off technologies.
These are schemes sold by insurance companies that are 'with profits' because the asset managers smooth out returns, but because they are not marked to market on a daily basis, their actual performance is not transparent to investors.
Circus structured some products for the now-defunct financial advisory Towry Law, which mis-sold them to Hong Kong investors, often encouraging clients to use leverage. In 2005, Circus gave investors the option to transfer assets stuck in dud schemes to its own, better-performing smooth-growth products.
One of the two principals have subsequently left Circus, with Harvey Boulter spinning out the military spin-off portfolio into Proton Capital, while Paul Robison decided that the with-profits business needed to be institutionalised. The funds have been transferred to the recently created SGI Management, with Thompson brought in to bring experience from the traditional mutual funds industry.
SGI provides a fund of smoothed-growth funds, which Thompson describes as an offering in best of class. The asset class is a mainstream pension product in the United Kingdom, where it provides predictable, low-volatility returns, but is not readily accessible to investors in Asia, retail or institutional.
The $250 million Diversified Smooth Growth Fund has now built a three-year track record, returning 13.2-16.6% in that time, depending on the currency. SGI charges a 1.25% fee on top of the underlying fundsÆ fees, although the firm can access these at a discount. Thompson is in the process of negotiating distribution agreements in Asia and Europe, including consumer and private banks. He has also hired a distribution head for Asia in Hong Kong but was unable to disclose the personÆs name.
Thompson has 15 years of experience in the funds industry. He helped Goldman Sachs develop its international funds business and has worked at Fidelity. Everbright Prudential is Prudential FinancialÆs asset management JV in China with Everbright Securities.
Kwap property arm appoints CEO; VFMC names new CEO as Lisa Gray retires; MSIG Singapore promotes Mack Eng as CEO; Monroe Capital opens first Asia office in Seoul, hires head from Aberdeen; Vanguard Australia appoints new MD to relocate from US; HSBC AM expands EM debt team; Vantage FX hires from CGS-CIMB in Singapore; and more.
Financials and healthcare have been spotted as promising sectors, while several tech IPOs are on the way, including a $2.2 billion fintech firm and a GIC-backed e-commerce startup.
A strong recovery in the Asia Pacific private capital markets in 2021 sets up favourable hiring and compensation trends.
The $95 billion Korean savings will set up a separately managed account for real estate debt investment early next year in order to shorten decision-making and help it win deals in a crowded market.