Leading asset owner executives and senior professionals from fund managers, consultants and family offices gathered for AsianInvestor's 14th Asia Investment Forum, which was held on May 20 to May 23 in Hong Kong. 

At the event, investors heard about the need to improve investing capabilities and knowledge in order to better navigate a less certain financial environment, in which rising geopolitical friction is combining with a late-stage global economic cycle to leave the future looking less sanguine. 

On May 21 the heads of family offices met at the Family Office Forum, where they heard a set of chief investment officers (CIOs) of single and multi-family offices discuss how they would increasingly turn to the services of external fund managers as they seek to differentiate and diversify their portfolios.

The following day the AIS began with a flurry of asset owner discussion. Mark Konyn, chief investment officer (CIO) of Hong Kong-headquartered insurer AIA, was on early to discuss his disappointment with the services of many active fund managers. He noted that many had failed to deliver and that was causing asset owners to increasingly turn to passive fund solutions. 

Konyn was followed by a set of CIOs including Ben Rudd of Prudential and Alan Liu, head of treasury for the Hong Kong Housing Society, who told the audience of fund manager executives that they would demand more information and understanding about how their external partners invest, including data on a daily basis. 

In addition, Rudd cautioned about asset owners placing too much faith - and money - in alternative investments to gain alpha, which is causing a spike in valuations. His point was echoed by Tae Park, deputy CIO for the Korean Investment Corporation. Park said he considered alternative assets to be, on the main, overpriced, and that such demand often causes an investment bubble. 

Please click here to see a gallery of photos from both events.