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Asset Management / Awards / Wealth Management
Sustainable Investing Awards 2024: Tough markets test grit of fund managers
Recognizing the winners of Investor, Fund Manager, and Asset Management Company of the Year Awards 2024
The Asset 25 Apr 2024

In the face of challenging market conditions – brought on by inflation, rising interest rates, tight labour markets, and multiple geopolitical crises – fund managers and asset managers who demonstrated flexibility, creativity, and grit managed to perform well in 2023.

Equities and fixed income were underperforming, and the series of interest rate hikes in the latter part of the year further aggravated the situation for fund managers.

In order to preserve their capital, most asset managers resorted to launching money market funds, which could offer investors guaranteed returns of 5% to 6%.

In Q4 2023, technology stocks, particularly those related to artificial intelligence (AI), captured the interest of investors and gathered momentum because of their high growth potential and promise of significant returns.

The focus was on US tech stocks, particularly the “Magnificent Seven” (Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Meta, Microsoft, Nvidia, Tesla) which accounted for about 28% of the S&P 500 index’s total weight at end of 2023.

During this period, asset managers with long-short strategies across most asset classes found it very challenging to outperform their benchmarks and their funds suffered massive redemptions.

Funds which were invested in more defensive sectors such as consumer staples, utilities, healthcare and telecommunications proved more resilient.

In China, the asset management industry had a flat growth amid market volatility and damaged investor confidence, with assets under management stabilizing at around 67.06 trillion yuan (US$9.25 trillion) at the end of last year. The mutual fund sector accounted for almost half of the market, with AUM surpassing 27 trillion yuan as of the end of 2023. As investor confidence recovers, this number has further grown to 30 trillion yuan as of March.

This market is bolstered by the robust growth of exchange-traded funds (ETFs), which saw AUM surge by almost 40% to 2 trillion yuan as of Q1 2024.

Equity ETF continues to be the most popular, taking an 80% market share, followed by QDII ETF (13%), whose growth reflects the strong demand from investors seeking to diversify their allocations and capture growth opportunities overseas.

It is in this context that we at The Asset announce the winners of the Investors and Fund Manager Awards 2024, as well as the Asset Management Company of the Year Awards 2024, as part of The Asset Triple A Sustainable Investing Awards for Institutional Investor, ETF, and Asset Servicing Providers 2024.

Investor and Fund Manager Awards 2024

Fund Manager of the Year

Fixed Income Fund Manager of the Year – Asia

Hedge Fund Manager of the Year – Asia

John Stover, portfolio manager, Tribeca Asia Credit Strategy

Tribeca Investment Partners

John Stover is portfolio manager of the Tribeca Asia Credit Strategy, which pursues an actively managed long-short approach to investing in the Asia-Pacific credit market. In 2023, the fund posted a return of 22.88%, compared to 5.1% and 7.4% for Asia and Global bonds respectively, with total AUM of US$41 million. Since inception, the fund has returned 48.2% on a gross basis, compared to -16.9% for Asia high-yield bonds, 5.7% for Asia investment-grade bonds, and -6.4% for global bonds.

 Equity Fund Manager of the Year – Asia

Grace Yan, Asia ex-Japan senior portfolio manager, Nikko AM Small Mid Equity Fund

Nikko Asset Management

Grace Yan is senior portfolio manager of the Nikko AM Small Mid Equity Fund, which invests in undervalued small and midcaps that are listed or have their registered offices in Asia ex-Japan, or that generated a predominant share of their sales and/or profits in Asia. In 2023, the fund displayed an outstanding risk-adjusted return with a Sharpe ratio above 1.1 and a Sortino ratio above 2.1, along with US$8 million in AUM.

Equity Fund Manager of the Year – China offshore

Chengshui Wan, lead manager, Global Value Chain Investment Corporation

Golden Eagle Global Trends Fund

Chengshui Wan is lead manager of the Golden Eagle Global Trends Fund, which aims to track changes in world economic conditions and seeks opportunities brought on by trends in technology and industry innovation.

In 2023, the Golden Eagle Global Trends Fund had AUM of US$86.88 million, up 48.92% from the previous year. The fund saw its net asset value (NAV) grow 39.42% during the year, and its Sharp ratio stood at 0.82.

Equity Fund Manager of the Year – Taiwan offshore

Patrick Lin, fund manager, Capital India Medium and Small Cap Equity Fund

Capital Investment Trust Corporation

In 2023, Capital India Medium and Small Cap Equity Fund reported an annual return of 46.34%, outperforming the benchmark.  With AUM of US$300 million, the fund ranked first place among its Taiwan peers, with impressive performance ratios including information ratio of 0.96, Sharp ratio of 4.6, and Sortino ratio of 14.

Investor of the Year

Pension Fund of the Year – Asia

National Pension Service (Korea)

The National Pension Fund of Korea had 999.2 trillion won (preliminary, US$727.6 billion) in AUM as of November 30 2023, up by around 108.7 trillion won, or around 12.2%, as of December 31 2022. The fund generated a 9.88% return (as of November 30), supported by strong equity and fixed markets, a growing appetite for risk assets, solid corporate earnings, and a rise in exchange rates.

Pension Fund of the Year -Taiwan

Private School Faculties Service Pension Fund

The Private School Faculties Service Pension Fund (PSFS) posted impressive results despite challenges arising from the impact of the US-China trade conflict. The cumulative return of its conservative portfolio over the past five years was 12.36% while the steady portfolio returned 34.8% and the aggressive portfolio gained 44.27%. As of December 31 2023, AUM reached NT$72.62 billion (US$2.23 billion).

For the full list of awardees, please click here.

Asset Management Companies of the Year 2024

Asset Management Company of the Year, China Onshore – Mutual Fund

China Asset Management

With a market share of 4.62%, China Asset Management (ChinaAMC) maintains a leading position in the mutual fund market in China. It serves the largest client base comprising more than 218 million retail investors and 252,000 institutional investors, managing over 400 mutual funds. ChinaAMC launched 61 funds in 2023, resulting in a total AUM growth of 6%.

Asset Management Company of the Year, China Onshore – Pension Fund

Taikang Asset Management

Taikang Asset has been focusing on providing long-term and professional asset management services to institutional clients such as life insurers and pension funds. Leveraging its asset allocation capabilities across different asset classes, the company has been delivering stable and excellent investment returns for institutional clients, resulting in a dominant position in the pension funds sector.

Asset Management Company of the Year, China Offshore

China Asset Management (Hong Kong)

China Asset Management (Hong Kong) (ChinaAMC HK) provides a wide spectrum of investment vehicles including ETFs, equities, fixed income, cash management solutions, leveraged and inverse products, and funds of funds. New products such as ChinaAMC RMB Money Market ETF have gained traction among investors, resulting in solid total AUM growth last year. In addition, ChinaAMC HK integrates ESG strategies into products, and has been actively engaging in practices such as proxy voting.

Asset Management Company of the Year, China Offshore – Multi-asset

Huatai Financial Holdings (Hong Kong)

With a 20% AUM growth mainly coming from new products to capture high interest rate market opportunities, Huatai Financial Holdings (Hong Kong) has risen to become an important player in the China offshore market. New products launched last year such as Huatai Multi-term Stable Income Fund have been favoured by investors, generating short-term stable income and long-term risk-adjusted returns.

Asset Management Company of the Year – Indonesia

Sucor Asset Management

Sucor Asset Management’s products have always beaten the benchmark, making the company one of the best performing asset managers in Indonesia, although it suffered redemption in line with the downturn in the domestic fund management market.  Sucor also won one new open-ended fund mandate and one new discretionary fund mandate, demonstrating its strong capabilities as a fund manager.

Asset Management Company of the Year – Malaysia

Principal Asset Management Berhad

Despite the challenging market conditions, Principal asset Management, Malaysia posted a strong AUM growth of 7.5% at 70.65 billion ringgit (US$14.79 billion) as of  November 2023. Its fixed income fund outperformed the benchmark, while its global technology fund and sukuk fund did well although they did not outperform.

Asset Management Company of the Year – Philippines (Winner)

BDO Trust and Investment Group

BDO Trust remains the market leader in the local trust and investments industry with a market share of 22.4% and trust assets under management of 1.4 trillion pesos (US$25.23 billion) as of December 31 2023. BDO Trust grew its AUM by 11% or 141 billion pesos, compared with the previous year. Its funds also outperformed their benchmarks, including the BDO ESG equity fund.

Asset Management Company of the Year – Philippines (Highly Commended)

BPI Wealth

After a restructuring in 2023, BPI Wealth saw its AUM expand by 40% and its market share up by 30%. The company also broadened its fund range and launched a number of innovative products during the awards period. Their four equity funds outperformed the market.

Asset Management Company of the Year – Taiwan

Cathay Securities Investment Trust

With a 16.71% market share, Cathay Securities Investment Trust remains the largest asset manager in Taiwan, recording an astonishing 53% y-o-y growth despite its large base. The solid growth is supported by its outstanding ETF business. Cathay Securities Investment Trust is particularly strong in discretionary investment management, taking a dominant market share of 25.65%. In addition, the company has been leading in ESG investing and incorporation capabilities.

Asset Management Company of the Year – Thailand (Winner)

Kungsri Asset Management

In 2023, Kungsri Asset Management AUM posted a 6% growth in AUM, outperforming the domestic mutual fund industry. Kungsri’s equity funds outperformed their benchmarks in a challenging market, making it one of the top performing equity houses in the Thai market.

Asset Management Company of the Year – Thailand (Highly Commended)

Kasikorn Asset Management

Kasikorn Asset Management (KAsset) maintained its top market share in 2023, with its AUM growing 21.3% to US$30.6 billion  and a market share of 28%.

Asset Management Company of the Year – Vietnam

SSI Asset Management

In 2023, SSI Asset Management maintained exceptional fund performances, despite suffering outflows in the face of challenging market conditions, which resulted in flat AUM growth. The company also expanded its business activities and collaborated with new partners, building the foundation for continued growth.

Asset Management Company of the Year, Private Debt – Global

Barings

Barings’ private debt portfolio delivered double-digit returns and dividend yields in 2023. Since its inception in May 2021, Barings has also delivered double-digit annualized net internal rate of return, making it one of the top performers in its peer group. Investors in BPCC (Barings Private Credit Corporation) benefited from the effect of higher base rates given the floating rate portfolio, continued strong credit performance and stable distribution.

Editors’ Triple Star

FountainCap Research & Investment (Hong Kong)

Backpacking roadshow

FountainCap’s innovative engagement approach through its “backpacking roadshow” provides clients with a unique and first-hand perspective of the actual conditions in the China market and other vital inputs to their investment decision making.

China Asset Management

Deploying AI in quantitative investing    

ChinaAMC Zhisheng Xinrui Equity Fund uses AI-powered quantitative models to screen listed companies and construct investment portfolios. Launched in July last year, the fund uses quantitative methods to optimize portfolio trading and control risks.

Mandate of the Year - Philippines

ATRAM

In 2023, ATRAM demonstrated its ability to win key mandates following a key partnership with Pru Life UK. Its AUM surged 97% to 310.2 billion pesos (US$5.39 billion), with approximately 145 billion pesos attributed to the partnership.

For the full list of awardees for asset management companies, please click here.

For the full list of investor and fund manager awards, please click here.

To join the in-person annual celebratory dinner on June 14 2024 in Hong Kong, please contact celebrate@theasset.com.

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