Nomura Asset Management has added six to its investment team in Taiwan this year and plans further hires, in light of incoming rules requiring foreign fund houses to have a bigger onshore presence. It is also seeking external managers to act as sub-advisers for certain products.
The firm is building out its investment capabilities in Greater China, starting with Asian fixed income, then moving into global emerging-market fixed income over the longer term.
“We want to internationalise our investment capability, so we can better manage global strategies,” said Ashwin Mehta, chairman of Nomura AM Taiwan.
The firm now has a 50-strong onshore investment team in Taiwan, up from 44 earlier this year.
The latest addition was Vinay Salwan, who started in August as global investment solutions head, and responsible for leading the quantitative team. This is a newly created role, as the firm wants to add more quantitative research to its investment strategy. Salwan joined from Citi in Hong Kong, where he worked in quantitative research.
Chia Tse Chern came on board in July as fixed income head from Singapore’s UOB Asset Management, replacing Kevin Huang. Portfolio managers James Lee and Roy Lin also started in July, having moved from Manulife Asset Management and Paradigm Securities Investment Trust Enterprise, respectively.
These appointments followed the arrival of Vincent Bourdarie as chief investment officer from Amundi’s Hong Kong office in March to replace Paul Armstrong.
Some of the abovementioned names are not among the six new additions.
Mehta told AsianInvestor that Nomura AM is in the process of further adding to its Greater China team – that is, covering Hong Kong and Taiwan – but did not give specify any numbers.
Meanwhile, the firm is seeking more asset managers to act as sub-advisers. Mehta said the firm used external firms to help manage funds for which it lacked the expertise to run by itself.
For instance, the US High Yield Bond Fund it launched last week is sub-advised by New York-based Nomura Corporate Research and Asset Management. Nomura AM Taiwan has also partnered Amundi to launch a European equity fund and Natixis Asset Management on a multi-asset product this year.
Nomura’s onshore buildout comes after Taiwan’s Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) set out new rules in July requiring foreign fund houses to have a stronger onshore presence. They will come into force in September 2016.
Nomura Site is one of the 16 global firms that are likely to meet these requirements, while 40 companies may fail to do so and would consequently find it difficult to get approval for offshore fund distribution, according to Keystone Intelligence, a Taipei-based consultancy.
“The regulator’s direction is to focus on how fund companies can service local clients better, provide the right capability and encourage growth of the onshore fund industry,” said Mehta.
He added that he did not feel it was difficult now to distribute foreign funds in Taiwan. “Compared to the rest of Asia, Taiwan remains the most open market,” he noted. “I cannot see any market in the region where about 70% of funds are Ucits products.”