Three-year-old global custodian RBC Dexia Investor Services is increasing its presence in the region with a mandate from ING Investment Management Asia-Pacific to provide administrative and nominee services.

Under the mandate, RBC Dexia will service 11 offshore ING Luxembourg funds over 300 share classes in Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Taiwan.

Under what the company calls a "unique transfer agency model" approach, RBC Dexia has designed its model based on the European Ucits (Undertaking for Collective Investments in Transferable Securities) fund distribution standard.

"We are looking now at a much more global servicing model, and it is fundamentally driven by two things," says Scott McLaren, RBC Dexia head of Asia-Pacific sales and relationship management. "One is cross border distribution and the other is fund managers expanding their operations to capture more assets in more markets, particularly in Asia."

Ucits, despite their limitations and notable lack of acceptance in the US market, facilitate the implementation of RBC Dexia's global servicing model across time zones and with attention to local market requirements.

First developed in 1985, Ucits allow for a fund registered in one EU country to be marketed across the trading bloc. Now over 100 countries worldwide allow Ucits funds to be sold, including Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan.

ING Investment Management operates 600 mutual funds globally with more than $464 billion under management at the end of 2008. Regionally, the investment manager had $88.73 billion under management as of December 31. ING has offices in Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand.

Founded in 2006 as a joint venture between the Royal Bank of Canada and Dexia, RBC Dexia already has $1.9 trillion in assets under administration globally. In Asia-Pacific, the global custodian has a presence in Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore.