Emerging Markets Corporate Debt - Navigating the Unknown

Over the past two decades, the value of outstanding US dollar-denominated Emerging Markets (EM) corporate debt has increased by a factor of 20, to over $1.5 trillion – a larger asset pool even than US dollar EM sovereign debt, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch. This growth has created unique opportunities for investors, particularly those rethinking their asset allocation and risk-reward profiles while seeking diversification and less correlated return streams.

In our upcoming webinar in partnership with Credit Suisse, our expert panel will address questions such as:

  • During Covid-19, how well did EM corporate bonds perform and why?
  • What are the key risk-reward factors that distinguish EM corporate from EM sovereign debt – and how are they influenced by historical default rates?
  • How can EM corporate bond valuations create attractive investment opportunities in countries where sovereign ratings are relatively low?
  • When does EM investment grade corporate debt offer an attractive alternative to developed market credit, vis-a-vis the underlying country exposures?
  • Which unique considerations are relevant to EM bonds, particularly when it comes to transparency, governance and auditing?

Join us for an in-depth discussion on this exciting area within fixed income.

Making the most alternative data

There is ever-growing demand in today’s fast-paced world of finance for unique data streams to help guide investment decisions. From geotagging to sentiment analysis through natural language processing, a myriad of options are now available. Data management professionals, quants, research teams, and data scientists are all looking for new sources of alpha to help differentiate their offerings – but even the best raw data cannot be useful in isolation, and requires processing and context. Our panel of experts looks at which alternative sources are truly useful, and how they can be benchmarked against and integrated with more traditional data sources.

During this in-depth webinar, we will discuss:

  • How to deploy and execute an effective overall data management strategy
  • How to get the most out alternative data and data science programs
  • Analysis of key trends in data usage and alternative data demand in 2020
  • How the right datasets can guide technology planning and investment
  • Who can benefit the most from alternative datasets, and how

Going for gold: Allocation strategies amid uncertainty

The price of gold has been surging against the backdrop of fatigued economic growth. Its price has reached record highs thanks to near zero interest rates and a weakening US dollar.

Aside from its reputation as a safe haven in times of economic uncertainty and political risk, gold is a useful hedging tool and provides long term capital gain. Yet asset owners have concerns over liquidity and valuation as the asset does not provide any yield. 

The ‘Going for Gold’ webinar, in partnership with the World Gold Council, will host two leading asset owners and assess:

  • Investor sentiments towards US dollar
  • Interest rate and economic growth forecast
  • Key price drivers, liquidity and the supply and demand of gold
  • The ideal form asset owners should invest in gold
  • How to calculate gold’s asset valuation in different scenarios
  • Gold’s role as a strategic asset
  • Gold and ESG considerations

Drivers of change – macro forces and the new normal for insurance

In times of economic turmoil, the natural reaction is often to cut your losses. Plus, balancing assets and liabilities can be particularly difficult during a period of historically low interest rates, looming government debt and the risk of corporate defaults. However, amid these challenging conditions investors should combine a long-term investment view with bespoke investment solutions.

In our upcoming webinar, we discuss with insurance industry experts how best to map out a path to successful investment against a backdrop of tenuous economic recovery and geopolitical uncertainty.

  • How macro-economic forces are shaping risks for balance sheets
  • Regulatory changes in a broader context, such as IFRS 17 and IFRS 9
  • Current challenges in building products with investment guarantees
  • Embedding ESG considerations into the portfolio construction process
  • All weather asset allocation to navigate through market volatility

THE FUTURE COO: Evolution or Revolution?

Traditionally tasked with driving efficiency, the role of the COO has in recent years come to rely increasingly upon technology while striving to meet evolving client and employee expectations as part of a growing remit. In a post-pandemic world, the urgent need for operational resilience has taken contingency planning from a periodic activity to a short and long-term priority, as day-to-day operations have been radically altered.

Combined with an already increasingly complex web of interactions, we will discuss how COOs can balance organizational transformation in the longer term while dealing with today’s pressing needs.

Questions to be answered will include:

  • What kind of programmes for upskilling the workforce should be put in place?
  • How can COOs balance risk management with driving growth opportunities?
  • How have expectations for client interactions been altered by Covid-19? Has it amplified the role of the COO?
  • How can the need for long-term growth and collaboration be balanced with more pressing short-term needs?
  • Where does the COO role tend to overlap with other senior roles, and how can responsibilities be more clearly defined?
  • As COOs focus increasingly on technology, how can they adapt to have the right skills and mindset?

Investing in a post-pandemic world

Amid unpredictable financial markets and blurred fiscal and monetary policies from the global response to economic shutdowns, asset owners across Asia Pacific need to adapt quickly. They face significant challenges in building and managing their portfolios in today’s new normal. Everything is under the spotlight – from how they set return targets and manage liquidity, to how they assess external managers and integrate ESG factors and technology within investment processes and themes.

These were also clear trends from an in-depth survey conducted by AsianInvestor and BNY Mellon Investment Management in August 2020, polling over 145 senior investors in the region. As they grapple with the new investment landscape, there is a lot for them to consider within their strategic and tactical asset allocations for 2021 and beyond.

This timely webinar explores these trends – aiming to help senior executives from insurers, pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, endowments, government entities and other institutions deal with this new reality.

Topics will cover:

  • The key findings from this exclusive survey
  • The biggest portfolio risks over the next 6 months – and how best to manage them
  • The changes required in investment decision in a post-pandemic world
  • Key opportunities across different assets and markets going forward
  • Which assets – including alternatives – appeal to different institutions, and why
  • How to prepare portfolios for 2021

A paradigm shift in data management: How investors can thrive through data as a service

For many buyside firms, managing market and reference data is an expensive and time-consuming process that distracts staff from more business-differentiating projects. Enterprise Data Management (EDM) systems and outsourcing have boosted data quality and operational efficiency, but have fallen short on delivering the business agility firms need to keep up with market, business and regulatory changes. 

Today, an increasing number of buyside firms are turning to Data-as-a-Service (DaaS) to solve their data management headaches. But what constitutes a true DaaS offering, and how does it differ from other solutions available on the market?

In this webinar, we’ll discuss the shortcomings of traditional approaches to EDM, and why Data-as-a-Service (DaaS) is now the ideal target operating model for market and reference data management. We will also hear from market participants about key drivers and potential stumbling blocks to DaaS adoption, to help you assess how your firm might benefit from a DaaS offering.


Discussion points to include:

  • How has Covid-19 exacerbated existing data management challenges?
  • What’s missing from traditional data management operating models?
  • What is Data-as-a-Service and how does it differ from a managed service?
  • What are the drivers and barriers to adoption of Data-as-a-Service?
  • Where can automation techniques such as RPA, ML and AI be leveraged and integrated?
  • What to look for in a Data-as-a-Service solution provider?

To learn about Data as a Service (DaaS) as an operating model for data management, with embedded data operations, data advisory and change management services, the video HERE explains the basics: 


The Investment Process of the Future

Asset owners across Asia are facing unprecedentedly difficult investment conditions. A seemingly endless era of zero-to-low rates are depressing yields from traditional fixed income asset classes. Major and long-term geopolitical changes, a worldwide de-globalisation movement, and the enduring pain of covid-19 are causing strategic allocation uncertainty.

Building the right investment process to adapt to constantly changing norms has never been more urgent. Developing the right technological infrastructures, powered by a sophisticated operating model, as well as having the right data analytics capabilities, and crucially the right talent, are the only ways asset owners and managers can achieve sustainable growth. The implementation of such a model requires future-looking c-level executives working collaboratively with their service providers.

The ‘Investment Process of the Future’ webcast is aimed at the entire c-level of leading asset owners and managers, from operations to technology, administration to investment, and information to risk. Convening c-level executives from asset owners and managers alike, it will highlight:

  • How the shockwaves of covid-19 can prepare a strategy for future disruption
  • How different organisational functions can work together to create an investment process that is adaptable to constant external changes
  • How to build an effective ‘digital-first strategy’ that spans across different investment functions
  • How to identify and keep top talent for increasingly changing roles
  • Making sense of data in a world of data ‘over reliance’

Leading the Transformation of Asset Servicing


A new investment era: will Asian & HK Dollar bonds win the race for resilience?

An interactive discussion with market experts to explore the value, opportunity and liquidity in Asian fixed income to help asset owners tackle the reality of low rates.

As post-pandemic portfolios strive to adapt to a market environment that shows little consensus, the Asian investment grade universe seems a more rational bet than most. It accounts for almost 80% of the region’s USD credit, which offers higher yields than US or Euro equivalents with lower duration. 

Investing in Hong Kong dollar debt, for example – along with other Asian USD bonds, typically issued by large, stable or government-related institutions – also enables diversification, risk management and a way to shore-up risk-adjusted return targets at a time when any sort of stability is highly sought after.

Providing insights and practical take-aways - this session will include a brief outlook on the macro environment for the rest of 2020, plus implications for fixed income portfolios, especially Asian (including HK dollar) bonds.


Key discussion points to include - 


New approaches to asset allocation and risk management within the fixed income universe - to prepare portfolios for a post-pandemic era

The outlook for Asian fixed income - and how this fits within the broader macro context

Ways to tackle a ‘lower for longer’ rates environment via Asian debt

Key factors in weighing liquidity vs yield amid today’s environment

Where next for the Hong Kong market - including challenges and opportunities for HKD bonds

Revisiting Total Portfolio Approach: Position Your Organisation For Uncertain Times

There is evidence that a well-executed TPA can provide a return benefit of 50 to 100 basis points per annum over a traditional, SAA-based approach (Total Portfolio Approach – A global asset owners study into current and future asset allocation practices. Thinking Ahead Institute). However, investors must be prepared to fully commit to the organisational design, with the potential changes to operations and investment support systems that it implies, if they are to fully reap these benefits.

SimCorp, in partnership with AsianInvestor, will conduct a webinar that dives into the TPA approach.  This webinar will cover: 

• The shift away from traditional, Strategic Asset Allocation to TPA
• The impact of TPA on capital allocation, internal culture and governance 
• Is TPA worth the time, cost and effort? 
• The biggest challenges of implementing this approach
• What asset owners need to do to effectively execute TPA’
• A panel discussion

Holding your managers accountable in times of volatility

In times of volatility, it’s more important than ever to understand how your managers are performing and whether there are any areas for concern – be it with respect to the funds you’ve invested in or the organisational issues around the firms you have partnered with.

In this webcast, eVestment in partnership with AsianInvestor, will share unique proprietary data around how institutional investors globally have responded to market volatility and suggest some best practices about how best to monitor managers.

The discussion offers participants a chance to learn about specific examples of how market-leading institutional investors conduct quarterly manager monitoring as a way to both prepare for manager meetings and to flag potential investment risks.

Main points of discussion include:

- Why ongoing monitoring of investment managers is important

- Key ways to accurately scrutinise your external managers’ performance

- The importance of monitoring performance and risk relative to peers, not just benchmarks

- Flags that may signal areas of concern to discuss with your manager

New technologies for a new investment era

Portfolio management is certainly not immune from the far-reaching influence of technology on all aspects of our lives. In line with the ever-faster availability, speed and access of data and digital solutions, investors across APAC must consider the potential applications, drivers, barriers and future of AI, machine learning and Neuro-Linguistic Programming on asset allocation and investing.


In this webinar, AsianInvestor, in partnership with Refinitiv, will reveal insights from a new, exclusive survey of over 175 senior investment professionals in APAC on the role of new technologies within today's investment landscape.


We will address key topics such as:


  • The drivers for using new technologies to invest
  • The future for new technologies in portfolio management
  • How new technologies will (re)define asset allocation and investing in general across the industry
  • The barriers to greater engagement of AI and other new technologies - and how to overcome them
  • What we as an industry need to do to get ready for these changes


SIX THEMES, FIVE YEARS, ONE OUTLOOK: How Asian investors can get the most out of their portfolios over the next five years

The uncertainty of the world's economy and geopolitics leaves Asian institutional investors with many uncertainties, as they ponder how best to strategically and tactically prepare their portfolios. 

Northern Trust has identified six megatrends or themes that it believes will be among the most dominant over the coming five years, and which investors should take stock of as they consider their investment plans.

From concerns over high valuations to a persistent lack of inflation and a longstanding level of tension between the US and China, the world is set to become a more complicated place to navigate over the coming years. 


SOLVING THE DATA DILEMMA: Why are data management projects in Asia Pacific failing to deliver value?

Organizations in Asia Pacific are starting to spend more on cleaning up their data to maximize its value. Doing so is now critical as portfolios in the region are becoming more complex and diversified, which raises the risk of unintended exposures.

The data that organisations generate can offer unique intelligence to help them make better investment decisions. But it is only useful if it can be properly identified and managed within appropriate infrastructure. There are also costs associated with data management, so decisions need to be made over its storage and control.

Asia’s incoming liquidity rules: what you need to know

Liquidity is generally absent when you need it most. And with liquidity risk becoming a bigger issue in bond markets, in particular since the 2008 crisis, institutional investors in the Asia-Pacific region believe lower market liquidity is a secular shift necessitating a new investment approach.