The Fund House of the Year (for different markets) is one of AsianInvestor’s hotly-contested categories in our industry-leading Asset Management Awards.
As with previous years, we had a few rounds of deliberations before ultimately picking the winners.
While the awards process has evolved through the years, the awards remain focused on picking the brightest and best stars in the region's asset management industry.
The awards selection procedure is simple but rigorous. This year, we also developed more specific criteria to guide applicants for greater transparency and clarity.
Our judging panel, comprising independent industry veterans and top executives from asset owners across the region, assessed all qualified entries and took lead in providing valuable insights and guidance on shortlisting the best candidates.
The final entries were also assessed by the editorial team to eventually decide on the ultimate winners.
In the fourth installment, we explain the rationale behind the judges’ choices for Fund House of the Year for China, Taiwan and Korea.
Once again, a huge thank you to all the judges who participated in the asset management awards.
GLP Capital Partners
GLP Capital Partners (GCP) stood out among all the other entrants for its strong business growth in 2022, including that of sustainable real estate investment solutions offered to asset owners.
With about $58 billion in assets under management in China, the alternative asset manager coninued to drive busines amid broad market sluggishness with the launch of of 10 funds across onshore, offshore, and private equity strategies.
Its GLP C-REIT is one of the country's first public infrastructure real estate investment trust (REITs). It is also the first international player to offer this infrastructure investment and financing mechanism, which speaks to its ability to play first-mover in this space.
GCP boasts over 185 global institutional investors, suggesting strong confidence from this investor segment in their strategies.
An investor base that continues to grow annually with a little over one-third of investors putting their money in multiple funds, did not fail to impress the judges.
Among its high-profile investors are Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, AIA, Allianz, China Investment Corporation, along with many other big names.
GCP was also remarkable for managing to ensure that its real estate investments are strongly sustainable.
One example: In the 2022 GRESB assessment - an investor-driven global ESG benchmark and reporting framework for real estate investments - GLP China Logistics Fund I and GLP China Logistics Fund II are the top two industrial asset portfolios in China, both of which are GRESB "Green Star" certified.
Sevaral of its industrial assets, from warehousing and distribution facilities to data centres, have been awarded green awards.
Fund House of the Year – Taiwan
Yuanta Investment Trust
Being the largest mutual fund manager in Taiwan by both AUM and beneficiaries, Yuanta impressed the judges through its successful fund launches and efforts to expand retail engagement in exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in 2022 despite market volatility.
Yuanta Securities Investment Trust (SITC) funds grew by 20% to $31.6 billion at the end of 2022 from $26 billion a year ago -- a strong performance in a year when both global stocks and bonds suffered.
Institutional investors account for around 45% of Yuanta SITC assets under management, which incude mutual funds and ETFs.
It has made significant attempts to promote the concept of asset allocation among all investors and one indication was that conducting workshops with branch offices to educate investors.
That helped, according to judges, as a majority of AUM growth in 2022 came from retail participation as Yuanta rolled out 2 new fund launches that raised around $1 billion.
It also did a remarkably good job on building its retail base in bond ETF products -- mainly used by institutional investors --- in 2022.
Yuanta ETFs grew by a net $3.5 billion across all asset classes, including equities, fixed income and commodities, in 2022 - again, a testament to the brand's ability to sustain and grow business even in challenging market conditions.
By the end of 2022, amongst the $6 billion Bond ETF managed by Yuanta SITC, about $1 billion was held by retail investors at the end of 2022.
That represented the highest retail holding among all bond ETF providers in Taiwan -- a powerful reminder of how Yuanta continues to boost its credentials in this market segment
Fund house of the Year – Korea
Samsung SRA Asset Management
Samsung SRA Asset Management has been good at anticipating what investors need time and again, according to the judges.
That uncanny ability has helped Samsung SRA AM become one of the largest real estate investment managers in the country.
Take its private markets fund of funds (FoF) business for example: the business has posted a five-year compound annual growth rate of 30% in assets under management since 2017 and hit record-high growth in 2022.
Credit must be given to the asset manager for realising the market’s need for FoFs back in 2017, when it launched its first dedicated FoF team in Korea, focused solely on businesses arising from private fund investments in FoF schemes.
It realised back then the demands of institutional investors were become more sophisticated and set about bringing in products to match emerging demand.
Samsung SRA's FoF team in 2022 advised and underwrote 60 commitments from 27 institutional investors into more than 30 FoF mandates.
Insurers, pension funds and mutual aid associations accounted for close to 50% of those investors, indicative of the trust placed in these FoFs by some of the financial market’s largest institutional investors.
There has been a willingness to innovate and adapt to rapidly changing market conditions that was not lost on judges.
The firm has also formed strategic alliances with partners such as MetLife, SL Green and Nuveen, expanding its investment management capabilities and taking it closer to its goal of becoming one of the top 30 global real estate investment companies in coming years.
Judges noted that even in 2018, the asset manager’s move into global real estate investment trusts (REIT) after being awarded a mandate from one of the largest Korean investors, Samsung SRA AM in 2022 went on to successfully pre-close the launch of Samsung FN REIT, the first REIT from Samsung Financial Networks.
The network cover seven financial affiliates of Samsung Group, including Samsung Life Insurance, Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance, and Samsung Asset Management) in November 2022.
The REIT is expected to be listed in public markets in the first half of 2023 and is further expected to diversify the firm’s business and revenue streams -- yet another reason why the judges thought the fund house deserved to win the award for Korea.