US fund house TCW Group has beefed up its distribution effort in Asia with the addition of more staff in Hong Kong on top of Stacy Hsu, the previous Asia sales head and newly appointed regional boss.
The other two executives – both senior vice presidents – are new to the firm, but TCW declined to give more details.
There are no current plans to put investment staff in Asia; the company will be marketing its existing funds from the TCW and MetWest families.
The buildout follows the February 6 completion of the acquisition of TCW from Société Générale by TCW management and private equity firm Carlyle.
Over the medium to longer term, the firm may add another three to seven employees to the new office in Pacific Place One, says Stan Debreu, head of international distribution and marketing.
“At this time, the staff in Hong Kong will be solely focused on the distribution and marketing of existing TCW and MetWest funds,” he notes. “I cannot say whether we will add investment staff at a future date.”
TCW will begin by offering its largest funds, eventually making all funds in the TCW and MetWest families available in Asia. It will market its products to professional investors in Hong Kong and institutional investors across Asia.
The firm will sell Ucits funds in the markets where Ucits is approved and is considering registration for its Ucits products in Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan.
“We will continue to build the TCW brand internationally through our Ucits platform, through direct relationships with institutional investors, and also through alliances with respected investment firms,” Debreu says.
TCW has a Ucits platform in Luxembourg to enable it to replicate the most successful funds in the TCW and MetWest US fund complexes, which have $53.8 billion in assets.
The firm has also forged several international distribution partnerships, including sub-advisory relationships with Amundi and Pictet in Europe, and a partnership in the Middle East with NCB to offer sharia-compliant funds.
At the same time as the expansion of the Hong Kong presence, TCW has opened an office in Paris to establish a European operation, run by Heinrich Riehl as head of Europe.
Hsu, now managing director and head of TCW Asia, joined the group in 2011 as Asia ex-Japan head of sales and business development.
Before that, she had worked at RBS ABN Amro in Hong Kong as head of sales for quantitative and equities execution services in Asia, after running institutional and retail distribution of structured products in Greater China.
Prior to RBS, she worked for JP Morgan Chase Private Bank in Hong Kong and also for Citibank in Taipei where she set up and managed the bank's mutual fund, foreign bond and structured product platform.
The TCW Group had $130.7 billion in assets under management as of March 31, but declined to give the figure for AUM sourced from Asia Pacific.
Its clients include corporate and public pension plans, financial institutions, endowments and foundations in the US, as well as a substantial number of foreign investors and high-net-worth individuals.