Private credit might be less attractive than it was last year as investors rush into the market, but there are sweet spots to be found.
Based in Shanghai in the new role, Chen reports to Garry Hawker, head of investment consulting for Asia ex-Japan.
Chen is charged with providing investment consulting services to Chinese institutions, with a particular focus on government and pension funds. This is in line with Mercer's added focus on the rising popularity of corporate annuity funds in China.
ôEver since China started its pension reform in the 1990s, it became evident that corporate-sponsored new enterprise annuity pension plans would play an important part of employee retirement income, and ultimately become important institutional investors in Chinese capital markets,ö says Hawker, who is also based in Shanghai.
Hawker says Mercer is anticipating increasing need for investment advice on domestic and international markets from clients in China. He sees demand coming from both the government and individuals, as ChinaÆs rapid economic development creates more wealth accumulation.
Regulators keep their eyes open on tightening insurance industry by introducing more detailed risk management requirements, which could bring pressure on smaller players.
China and India are more obvious choices for AustralianSuper to consider in Asia Pacific, but the super fund currently lacks the expertise and prefers to stick to the US and Europe.
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Investors are increasingly turning to private companies and private debt in their hunt for ESG alpha, but the age-old problem of transparency and due diligence remains