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.
The Philadelphia-based firm got its start as an outsourcing service for private banks in the US and only later expanded into multi-manager solutions for institutional investors, says William Cassidy, managing director of the private banking and distribution group.
Cassidy has just relocated from San Francisco to Hong Kong to spearhead the effort. Virginia Devereux, a Hong Kong native who has been supporting the firmÆs institutional effort in Asia, will now focus full time on marketing the private-banking unit with Cassidy.
The firm is now in the process of introducing an international version of its private-bank processing platform in the United Kingdom, and this will be able to service clients in Asia as well. At some point SEI may introduce an additional IT platform in Asia for local time-zone service, but only once the business has reached a certain size.
ôThe service is similar to the outsourcing we offer to institutional investors,ö Cassidy says. ôWe provide processing tools, a back office and investment management for global wealth managers. Some private banks outsource just their business services or their asset management component to us, or use us to supplement their internal set of tools...Private banks create alpha in their relationships. We have no contact with their clients and could never replicate that.ö
SEI tailors investment management for private banks so they are not getting a typical service for, say, a pension fund. For example, institutional investors have set benchmarks, where as private clients tend toward absolute returns or other goals.
In Asia it already provides services to HSBC, as a multi-manager to its private banking arm, Republic. Cassidy says the firm has signed another private bank with operations in Singapore and Hong Kong, but cannot now disclose the name.
SEI lacks traditional relationships with private banks outside of the United States, so it has to build a local business from scratch. It will target banks where wealth management is a core part of their growth, and which have shown a willingness to outsource.
Sunsuper and QSuper appoints CIO for combined entity; State Street appoints heads of HK and Taiwan; Nothern Trust rebuilds Apac team; Manulife IM names emerging markets fixed income CIO; RBC Wealth Management hires four into HK; Lombard Odier hires two senior equity managers; Allianz Global Investors appoints Asia hand as equity CIO; and more.
Investors from China and the US are expected to continue buying assets in each other’s markets despite the blacklist of Chinese firms with military and surveillance ties.
Stronger government actions are needed to meet the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees, investors such as Hesta and CDPQ signed in a statement.
AsianInvestor explains why we chose the winners of the second half of our 2021 fund manager winners, by major local markets.