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.
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.
In its second annual sustainable investment report, the sovereign wealth fund says it invested $1.79bn in ESG bonds. Experts say asset owners next need to consolidate their standards.
Senior executives at the Taiwan financial group and Canadian pension fund believe that companies have to make an ESG transition, and may not have a choice in a few years.
Record low borrowing costs in Australia are feeding demand for the country's real estate, with domestic and global investors raising their allocations into the sector.
Experts have a diversified view on the appeal of private assets across the region, but one thing's for certain - inflows are rising, particularly into China and the US.