In April, AsianInvestor revealed the winners of its annual Asset Management Awards. The biggest prizes are the Marquee Awards, which go to the leading institutions across key areas of the investment industry. Our decisions were based on a blend of quantitative and qualitative research, including feedback from third-party sources.
LGT Capital Partners was named the leading manager of alternatives investments for the second year running, courtesy of strong regional investments and support from Asia asset owners for its services. Meanwhile, Eastspring Investments combined rapid asset growth, new fund vehicles and strong performance to take our Asia fund house award.
Alternatives Manager of the Year
LGT Capital Partners
The alternative investment arm of LGT Group continued to impress Asia-Pacific clients in 2016, winning five portfolios from existing institutions and asset managers, as well as adding to existing mandates.
It picked up new Asian clients last year too, including asset managers across major financial markets, university endowments, family offices, insurers and state-linked entities. This added to its list of major institutional clients, including sovereign wealth funds, pension funds in North and Southeast Asia, and one from a big postal savings entity.
Asia accounts for a sizeable chunk of LGT Capital Partners' asset base, at around 20%. Investor demand from the region helped to ensure the institution could globally raise $4.3 billion in private-market assets and $6.3 billion across all assets during 2016 to take its total AUM past $50 billion.
One mandate it received was from South Korea’s Public Officials Benefit Association, to make an initial foray into catastrophe bonds, an area in which LGTCP is a recognised leader.
The fund house also had success investing in Asia, as well as raising money from the region. It has invested several billion dollars into regional private equity over the past 17 years. Its Asian investments generated an internal rate of return (IRR) of 11.8% last year, versus just 2% for the MSCI Asia Pacific index. Its IRR of 22.9% for secondary transactions was even more impressive.
LGTCP has also had success closing new funds for the region. Its Asian flagship private equity fund, Crown Asia-Pacific Private Equity III, held a final close on January 25 at $581 million, well above its $400 million initial target.
This activity has led the company to expand its regional resources. In 2016 it added five new hires to take its team in Asia to 35, including the transfer of a senior ESG specialist to Hong Kong. Impressively, LGT Capital has had no partner turnover in Asia since its inception.
Asia Fund House of the Year
AsianInvestor received several impressive pitches from Asia-based fund houses this year. Ultimately we felt Eastspring stood out from its rivals because it combined strong fund performance with steady business development and robust sustained growth in its assets under management (AUM).
Over the past three years Eastspring, the asset management arm of Prudential Corporation Asia, has seen its total AUM almost double. Assets grew 32% last year alone to hit £117.9 billion ($153.12 billion), while the firm reported a profit of £61 million for first half of 2016.
The Singapore-headquartered firm did so by offering funds that had outperformed across several years, particularly in India, Malaysia and Taiwan. All-told, 65% of the company’s funds have outperformed their median groups over the past three years.
But Eastspring hasn’t just relied on good existing products; it has also added new funds. The company introduced low-volatility products last year, as well as offering multi-asset solutions for third-party clients. In total it launched 27 new products and strategies during the year, including India equity funds, US investment-grade bond funds and European private placements.
The fund manager has continued to extend its client range across the world as well. Last year Eastspring received AUM inflows from distributors and institutional investors from Italy, France, Sweden and the UK. Perhaps most impressively, a US Fortune 100 company selected Eastspring to manage its multi-billion-dollar corporate retirement plan.
In an increasingly competitive fund management landscape, Eastspring stands out as a regional success story. It looks well placed to shine in the months and years ahead.
Look out for our final marquee award writeup, in which we will reveal the top asset manager for the region. In addition:
Click here to learn why Citi was named the best asset services provider and best consumer bank.
Click here to discover why UBS was the region's top private bank and JP Morgan offered the leading retail product.
Click here to learn why Hermes EOS was the best ESG Strategy Adviser and why Amundi's business development most impressed.
Click here to see why State Street Global Advisors' exchange-traded funds stood tall and why Zeal Asset Management offered Asia's best hedged strategy.
Click here to find out why Western Asset Management offered the best institutional strategy, and why Goldman Sachs Asset Management was the top institutional solutions provider.