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Mark Konyn, regional CEO of RCM in Hong Kong, explains the firm wanted this immediate connection with investors rather than relying on its parent, Allianz Global Investors (AGI). But it will also support AGIÆs existing retail business in Korea, which often distributes RCM products.
The decision reflects an ongoing strategic decision by AGI to allow its various fund-management units to operate under their own brand, with AGI serving as the retail platform and distribution hub. RCM is a San Francisco-based specialist in global equities that was owned by Dresdner Bank, which Allianz Group acquired in 2001.
In the Korean market, RCM will now market to institutions, while AGI will handle the onshore retail business, as well as represent other fund-management units in the group, which include Oppenheimer Capital, NFJ Investment Group and Nicholas-Applegate. Bond house Pimco, acquired by AGI in 2000, has always handled its own branding and marketing.
ôWe want to represent ourselves and make sure the message is clear to the market,ö Konyn says.
RCM had a business in Korea before its acquisition by Dresdner but pulled out in the midst of the 1997 Asian financial crisis, so it is effectively starting from scratch.
Adam Phua, senior marketing manager in Hong Kong, will lead business-development efforts, promoting both global equity products manufactured in California and London, as well as the Asia-Pacific suite. He will remain based in Hong Kong, having transferred there from Singapore in 2006 to look after institutional marketing throughout Asia ex-Japan. Adding dedicated resources, either in Hong Kong or Seoul, will depend on the business RCM attracts.
Investors still favour private equity assets for their higher growth, better governance structures, and diversification potential.
The recent focus on greenwashing has put bond issues under greater scrutiny. However, some market participants believe this risks paralysis by analysis.
The AU$85 billion ($61.6 billion) Australian super fund has some exposure to indebted property developer Evergrande. Meanwhile, China’s construction finance is part of its core strategy in real estate.
Investors are seeing the risks, but also the opportunities of the logistics sector. Warehousing their fears for the moment, they can see it's a good conduit to high-growth assets.