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.
Jayant Rikhye, deputy global head and head of institutional fund services for Asia, explains this emanates from a view in London that the lines between traditional and alternative fund managers and their needs in terms of fund administration have blurred.
Paul Stillabower, CEO at HSBC Securities Services in London, merged sales and relationship management among the two units in the spring.
This convergence is less prevalent in Asia so HSBC didnÆt attempt to immediately force other centres to conform, Rikhye explains. But in October, Pauline Wong, who ran business development for HSBCÆs traditional fund admin business, left the firm. The firm decided this was as good a time as any to integrate the two teams in Asia, consolidating them under Lunn.
Wong is now on gardening leave and starts at rival JPMorgan in January. JPMorgan executives say she will spearhead a drive to jumpstart their alternative fund admin services in Asia.
Lunn has been with the firm for over 12 years, all in Hong Kong û assuming you count his early days with Bank of Bermuda as part of the group. He was part of the team that developed BermudaÆs hedge fund servicing platform, which HSBC acquired in early 2004. His experience has ranged from custody servicing to project management to relationship management and sales.
For the past two years or so Lunn has served as Asia-Pacific head of business development for alternative fund services within the HSBC Securities Services shop.
Lunn says the two processing platforms will continue to run separately, as they are geared to handle different needs, such as liquidity requirements for traditional retail funds versus a hedge fund.
But he says the convergence story is accelerating in Asia. ôMore institutional managers are launching alternative products and distributing these to wealth management platforms. Meanwhile the more commoditised end of hedge fund managers, in areas such as equity long/short and 130/30 funds, are producing products aimed at traditional investors.ö
HSBCÆs goal is to be able to service any asset class. ôWe have all the arrows in our quiver,ö Lunn 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?
Insto roundup: Norway's Oil Fund praises China governance efforts; NPS commits $100m to taxi-hailing app
Norway's Oil Fund welcome Chinese proposals improving transparency and shareholder protection; HK's MPF assets surge 35% year on year; Korea's NPS commits $100m to TPG consortium to invest in taxi-hailing app; Poba commits W270bn to European property; Malaysia's EPF sees investment income rise 59% year-on-year in first quarter, and more.