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.
He joins from Forsyth Partners, whose investors have migrated to Crosby Capital, after Forsyth got bogged down over internal liquidity remittances between London and Dubai, which led to the company stopping in its tracks.
Medcraft takes the position of head of business development and marketing in Asia within the Comas unit. He will build his own team and will report to Dr Mehraj Mattoo who heads the Comas hedge fund business from London.
In his Singapore-based role, Medcraft will develop relationships with private banks, independent financial advisers, and institutions in order to secure distribution agreements for Commerzbank funds throughout Asia including Japan.
He will also look at customising and white labelling fund of hedge fund products for large distributors, but the firm is not involved with direct retail sales.
So why is Commerzbank now bringing its alternative business to Asia?
With assets under management reaching over $1.2 billion, the business can now pass the due diligence requirements of large institutional investors, says Medcraft. ôIt is very hard for a new hedge fund of funds business with no assets or track record to enter this competitive market,ö he says.
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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