Asset Management Awards: Marquee winners, explained part 1

We explain the reasoning behind selecting the winners for our coveted best-of-the-best awards.
Asset Management Awards: Marquee winners, explained part 1

In our second-last batch of detailed write-ups explaining how our award winners were chosen, we present AsianInvestor's Asset Management Awards' Marquee winners.

These entities are considered to be the 'best of the best' in investment management.

Today, we present the rationale of some of the winners in this category.

We will announce the winner for Asia Fund House of the Year - International on May 23, when we host a gala dinner for all the award winners at the Ritz Carlton in Hong Kong.

To see the announcement of our Marquee winners, click here.

Congratulations again to everyone and a big thank you to our esteemed judging panel for their valuable insights and assessments.

Asia Fund House of the Year – Domestic
Cathay SITE

Stellar growth amid global uncertainty made Cathay SITE an obvious choice for our judging panel who had no hesitation in awarding Cathay SITE this marquee category.

With a 16.71% market share, Cathay SITE has been consistently ranked No. 1 in Taiwan for total assets under management (AUM), surpassing its rivals by at least $4.49 billion.

Its dominant position allowed it to expertly navigate a year of geopolitical shocks, from war in the Middle East to interest rate hikes, launching four new products at the same time as its AUM increased to $52.52 billion, marking 53% year-on-year growth.

Revenues, meanwhile, grew by 7% and profits by 12% compared to the previous year.

Cathay SITE expanded into new markets, including partnerships with companies like Nippon Life in Japan and Easy Wallet in Taiwan.

Key factors contributing to business growth included a comprehensive range of ETFs, strong commitment to educating investors, and a large and enthusiastic investment team. ETF AUM reached $22.91 billion, up 58% from the previous year.

In terms of client acquisition and retention, Cathay SITE saw a significant increase in its client base, with mutual fund beneficiaries reaching more than 2.2 million individuals, and increase of some 440,000 individuals.

Specifically, the Cathay MSCI Taiwan ESG Sustainability High Dividend ETF attracted more than 1.2 million clients to become the most active and outstanding product on Taiwan's ETF market.

Cathay SITE also focused on technological innovation, collaborating with mobile payment institutions to offer fund transactions through mobile wallets. Initiatives for environmental protection and sustainability included promoting e-bills and electronic dividend distribution notices for ETFs.

Asia Fund House of the Year – ESG & Best Institutional Strategy 
BNP Paribas Asset Management

BNP Paribas Asset Management picked up two awards in our coveted Marquee category, impressing judges with an innovative and compelling submission that combined a strategic approach rooted in low volatility and a strong commitment to innovative technology.

Judges in particular were impressed by its “quantamental” approach to investment which combines the best of artificial intelligence and fundamental human talent.

“There was a significant relative increase in AUM from a low base achieving better-than-target results,” judges said of this entry. “Its value-add was visible but very specific to the client.

“Its quantamental concept is interesting," they added.

BNP Paribas Asset Management addressed client needs with bespoke solutions that incorporated dynamic risk control mechanisms, dynamic asset allocation based on proprietary models, and FX hedging strategies.

Ultimately, these strategies outperformed other global fund managers chosen by institutional clients, leading to increased AUM and contract renewal.

Dynamic asset allocation resulted in smoother, more predictable returns, reducing maximum drawdown and providing better resilience during market volatility.

The combination of proprietary models and investment philosophy enabled outperformance of specified requirements, while smart FX hedging minimised FX risk and reduced hedging costs.

BNP Paribas Asset Management's Dynamic Multi-Asset Strategy achieved a return of 7.5% and had a Sharpe ratio of 2.13 in 2023. The strategy, launched in July 2020, had an AUM of $202.44 million at the end of 2023, marking a 75% growth.

All inflows in 2023 came from a top Asia institutional client.

In terms of ESG, BNP Paribas has continued to work strongly in the sector, recently announcing the launch of the BNP Paribas Global Net Zero Transition Equity fund.

This Luxembourg-domiciled equity fund offers investors exposure to a well-diversified strategy across sectors, regions, and market cap, with a strong focus on decarbonisation and an overweight in sustainable investment. 

Best ETF Manager & Best Asset Manager for Diversity
JP Morgan Asset Management

The asset management division of JP Morgan Chase & Co. picked up these two awards with comprehensive and exhaustive entries that spelled out exactly why JP Morgan Asset Management (JPMAM) is a byword for excellence in the region.

Making significant strides in its target region of Australia and New Zealand, in 2022 the asset manager launched a range of active ETFs on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) creating a business stream that has become a strong area of focus for the firm.

These have included JPMorgan Global Research Enhanced Index Equity Active ETF (JREG) and JPMorgan Equity Premium Income Active ETF (JEPI) both listed on the ASX with two others following soon afterwards.

“In terms of innovation and services, this entry was very comprehensive,” judges said of the submission.

“This reflects the extensive nature of the activities they have undertaken to secure their position in the market.”

The foray into Australia follows on its successful 2020 launch of its China ETFs platform and, while there has been capital flight from China stocks over recent months, an ETF rebound, particularly in Chinese tech and internet stocks, is strongly expected in 2024.

JPMAM remains the second-largest ETF provider globally and the 9th largest issuer globally with assets under management of more than US$150 billion in 109 ETFs.

In terms of diversity, judges were impressed by the steps JPMAM has continued to make in bringing about an inclusive workplace.

“All very impressive,” judges said.

“Women are playing a very significant role in the firm in APAC. There were a broad range of efforts, arrangements, actions and measurable targets for improving diversity."

As fiduciary, it also maintains regular dialogue with investee companies to encourage diversity initiatives. One example: it met with a bank in an emerging market to advise them about increasing female representation in the overall workforce.

Asset Service Provider of the Year
HSBC Securities Services

Tokenisation has been the keyword for this regional banking giant, making HSBC the partner of choice for digital, as well as traditional, assets.

Recognising the potential of tokenisation to transform existing asset lifecycles, accelerate product innovation and reduce inefficiencies, HSBC has launched HSBC Orion – its proprietary tokenisation platform – that institutions and corporates can use to issue digital bonds based on distributed ledger technology (DLT).

As of 2023, the bank has launched and participated in tokenised issuances across Hong Kong, Singapore and Luxembourg.

With plans to build on the HSBC Orion roadmap, the bank aims to make the digital assets platform asset-agnostic, meaning that it will be able to connect to external networks to plug into future ecosystems of enhanced asset origination, asset servicing capabllities and distribution.

HSBC announced in November that it plans to launch a new digital assets custody service for institutional clients who invest in tokenised securities.

Once live in 2024, this service will complement HSBC Orion to form a complete digital asset offering for HSBC’s institutional clients.

HSBC has also been able to offer its trustee services to support Asia’s first crypto asset ETFs which have debuted in Hong Kong.

HSBC has thus far been unparalleled in its ability to respond quickly to these types of new developments in ETFs, supporting its clients and opening up new opportunities.

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