Senior sources at Korea Post Savings Fund, with $52 billion of assets under management, say that recent media reports regarding a decision on outstanding bond mandates are wrong.
These reports claimed the fund had selected a winner from among three finalists to manage a trio of $100 million mandates in global fixed income, including emerging-market debt and investment-grade credit.
But fund officials assure AsianInvestor that a decision had not yet been made. The announcement is not scheduled to be made until mid-October.
The confusion may stem from a misreading of an already announced mandate to Shinhan BNP Paribas Asset Management to serve as Korea Post’s adviser for international fixed income.
In this capacity, Shinhan BNP is to manage a family of sub-advisory fund managers. Ideally, Korea Post would like these sub-advisers in the form of managed accounts, administrated by Shinhan BNP (which also has authority to run foreign-exchange overlays).
To qualify for the international bond mandates, sub-managers need at least a three-year track record and a minimum total AUM of $500 million in the asset class. Both domestic and overseas financial institutions are eligible, subject to local regulations.
The initial managed-account structure envisioned up to seven sub-managers, including two for global bonds (benchmarked against the Barclays Capital Global Aggregate Index), three for emerging-market debt (versus the JP Morgan GBI EM Global Diversified Index) and two for credit (versus the BarCap Global Aggregate Credit Index).
Korea Fund sources say, however, that they may not necessarily fulfil all seven mandates; the client is also open to alternative benchmark suggestions.
Following an initial pitch based on the usual criteria such as track record and excess returns, which was due at the end of August, there remains an outstanding presentation round (in the Korean language) to consider performance, details of proposed investment vehicles, the manager’s capabilities, its investment strategy and process, its risk and compliance structure, and client servicing capabilities.