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.
In what is a new role, Wu will work with Kevin Tan, chief representative for Northern TrustÆs Beijing office, to help cultivate relationships with clients and regulators in China.
Wu joins Northern Trust from State Street where he spent 12 years in roles spanning operations, project management, and business development across Asia-Pacific. Most recently he was head of operations for North Asia. Andy Ki has replaced Wu as head of operations for State Street in Hong Kong.
"We see an increase in liquidity in the Chinese market driven primarily by the trade surplus and cash inflows,ö says Tan. ôAt some point the regulators are expected to allow more institutions to invest overseas as part of efforts to tackle inflation. The strategy for Northern Trust in China is to establish partnerships with domestic banks and custodians because Chinese institutions need a global custody partner to be able to support their overseas investments."
Most of Northern Trust's Chinese clients are currently served out of Singapore, pending regulatory approval for a branch licence which will enable it to provide services in Beijing.
The global custodian was awarded a mandate in 2006 to provide global custody, investment mandate compliance monitoring, and performance measurement services to ChinaÆs multi-billion dollar National Social Security Fund (NSSF); this was the first institutional retirement fund in China to invest overseas.
As of March 31, 2008, Northern Trust had assets under custody of $4 trillion, and assets under investment management of $778.6 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?
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