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.
A spokesman at JF Asset Management declined to say how many people in Asia have been affected by the recent job cuts and which particular positions and groups have been involved. In relation to the global staff reduction at the fund house, however, the spokesman says the numbers are not substantial.
ôJPMorgan, including JF Asset Management, is making staff reductions across all businesses across all regions, Asia-Pacific included,ö the spokesman says. ôThe key positions in Asia are not affected and the number of job cuts should be relatively minimal, in relation to the global numbers.ö
Founded and headquartered in Hong Kong, JF Asset Management has one of the largest investment teams in the region. The fund house had around 1,600 staff in Asia û about one-third of which are based in Hong Kong û before the job cuts. JF Asset ManagementÆs Hong Kong-based CEO for Asia, David Hsu, oversees the fund houseÆs operations in the region.
The spokesman declines to say if further job cuts are planned.
ôGiven the challenging environment, no industry has been harder hit than the financial services industry,ö the spokesman says, adding that the recent move is in reaction to the impact of the global financial crisis and looming economic recession.
Fund houses that have reduced staff in Asia include BlackRock, Fidelity International, ING Investment Management, Janus Capital and AllianceBernstein. The job cuts in fund houses in Asia have not been as drastic as layoffs in the US and Europe, however.
The job cuts are in reaction to shrinking assets under management (AUM) in Asia and uncertain growth prospects in the coming year. The fund houses have said, however, that they expect to rebuild their businesses accordingly depending on future market conditions.
AUM numbers have been dipping fast in the past few months due mainly to lower portfolio valuations and partly to redemptions. Mutual fund assets under management in Asia ex-Japan fell by 12% to $991 billion in the first half of 2008 from $1.126 trillion at end-2007, according to Boston-based financial services research firm Cerulli Associates. By the end of this year, AUM could be down 20% to $915 billion.
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.