Private credit might be less attractive than it was last year as investors rush into the market, but there are sweet spots to be found.
ôWe are interested in the global mobile population as well as local investors with an international outlook as these markets are growing at a phenomenal rate,ö he says. ôWe launched in Singapore last year and are looking at three or four other markets. We will only distribute through financial advisers as we do not have our own international sales force, except in Australia.ö
Zurich International offers a range of savings vehicles, administered from the Isle of Man, as well as protection products and group savings schemes.
Australia is a key prospective target for the company, Davis says, because it has high numbers of the companyÆs target clients and because its parent company has a ready-made distribution network.
He adds: ôAustralia has a lot of expatriates living there as well as a significant number of its population wandering the globe. It will be easy to gain access to the market as we have a big domestic insurance operation and will go through that.ö Davis did not rule out expanding into the China market, but did voice some concerns about administration.
Although the Isle of Man, where Zurich InternationalÆs range of individual, group and insurance savings products are registered, is a tax-exempt jurisdiction, Davis stresses that its products will not be sold on that point alone.
ôIt is unsustainable to build a business solely on tax breaks,ö he says. ôWe will only operate in countries where we have authorisation. Some other companies operate in a grey area where regulators are not worried so long as they are only working with expatriates. But the key feature for our target groups is being able to make savings contributions in any currency they want and be paid out in any currency they want.ö
Regulators keep their eyes open on tightening insurance industry by introducing more detailed risk management requirements, which could bring pressure on smaller players.
China and India are more obvious choices for AustralianSuper to consider in Asia Pacific, but the super fund currently lacks the expertise and prefers to stick to the US and Europe.
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Investors are increasingly turning to private companies and private debt in their hunt for ESG alpha, but the age-old problem of transparency and due diligence remains