Asset Management Awards: Marquee winners, explained part 2

We explain the reasoning behind the choice of winners for our coveted best-of-the-best awards.
Asset Management Awards: Marquee winners, explained part 2

In our last batch of detailed write-ups explaining how our award winners were chosen, we present some of the 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 winners for Asia Fund House of the Year - International, Best Fixed Income Manager and Best Alternatives Manager 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.

To see detailed reasons for the rest of the Marquee winners, click here.

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

Rising Star in Asset Services

As an international financial technology company that builds and operates electronic over-the-counter marketplaces for trading fixed income products, ETFs, and derivatives, Tradeweb is at the top of its game.

Award judges noted that it is now at the “forefront of interest rate derivatives in China” and is set to expand further.

Already more than 2,500 clients connect to Tradeweb to form a global network of the world’s largest banks, asset managers, hedge funds, insurance companies, wealth managers and retail clients.

With leading offerings in rates, credit, money markets and equities, clients have access to over 50 products in more than 70 countries across the globe.

Its recent acquisition of Yieldbroker in Australia and the launch of Swap Connect in China demonstrate its proactive approach to entering and expanding in new markets.

Tradeweb has experienced significant growth in its client base, particularly in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, with a 66% year-on-year increase in the number of clients trading on Tradeweb in APAC, indicating growing recognition and adoption of its services among market participants.

Its introduction of innovative solutions, such as straight-through processing and clearing on JSCC for Japanese yen swaps, automated intelligent execution (AiEX) tool, and top-notch data on emerging Market (EM) interest rate swaps (IRS), showcases its commitment to staying ahead of market trends and meeting the evolving needs of its clients.

Tradeweb's significant year-on-year growth in trading activity and revenue globally, as well as its strong performance in specific markets like China with accelerating uptake of its offerings, underscore its position as a rising star in the region.

Overall, judges were impressed with Tradeweb's strategic initiatives, client-centric approach, innovative offerings, and strong financial performance which positions it as a rising star in the Asia-Pacific region's electronic trading landscape.

Best Equity Manager

Eastspring’s ability to tailor strategies to the specific needs and goals of each portfolio gave this submission the edge, with judges noting that it took an innovative approach that did not sacrifice alpha.

“Unlike many systematic investors who employ a one-size-fits-all approach, our quantitative strategy team tailors its strategies to the specific needs and goals of each portfolio,” Eastspring said in its submission.

“Systematic/quant strategies, utilising mathematical models backed by extensive academic studies and Eastspring’s proprietary research, are demonstrating a strong performance trend in Asia.”

AI judges concurred.

The manager’s Asian Low Volatility Equity (ALVE) fund demonstrated remarkable absolute performance, boasting around 19% return over the past year to December 2023 to surpass 99% of its peers.

The firm, meanwhile, maintains a steadfast commitment to fundamental principles of portfolio construction and a value-added philosophy, continuously enhancing proprietary tools to adapt its strategy to shifting market opportunities.

Despite ongoing geopolitical conflicts and economic uncertainties, Eastspring Investments has shown that low volatility strategies can still return significant alpha in a challenging regional market.

“As we tell clients: it's crucial to remember that the stock market is a marathon, not a sprint,” Eastspring says.

“And we believe that low volatility strategies can efficiently prioritise stability and loss avoidance, thus providing a steadier path towards financial goals even amidst market fluctuations.”

Best Insurance Asset Manager
Lion Global Investors

Singapore-based Lion Global Investors ignored the headwinds from higher interest rates and inflation to post a robust 2023, winning three new insurance mandates and receiving more than S$300 million ($220 million) injection to an existing insurance account.

The total gross inflows from these accounts amounted to S$560 million ($411 million).

“I think they have done quite a few things on the liquidity side, on the green product side, and the T+0 products – it was a very solid effort throughout the year for them,” judges said of this submission.

On the product front, it continued to expand its suite of solutions by exploring new frontiers which included Singapore’s first green life insurance as well as the exploration of artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques to uncover investment possibilities.

Given the interest rate landscape, the asset managers also focused on cash management in 2023, collaborating with digital banks and platforms, corporate and private wealth clients to provide liquidity management solutions that makes cash work harder.

In 2023, it saw healthy AUM growth in its suite of Singapore dollar cash funds - LionGlobal SGD Money Market Fund, LionGlobal SGD Enhanced Liquidity Fund and LionGlobal Short Duration Bond Fund – posting S$1.2 billion ($880 million) in gross sales.

The insurance client segment, meanwhile, continues to be a key market for LGI.

“In today’s context, a generic investment approach can no longer address all the needs of an insurer,” LGI said in its submission.

“That is why LGI engages in continuous dialogue with our insurance clients to gain a holistic understanding of their investment goals.”

Best Thematic Fund House
RHB Group Asset Management

Malaysia-based RHB Group Asset Management showcased a strong commitment to growth, client satisfaction, innovation, and responsible investing in 2023, positioning itself as a prominent player in the asset management industry.

Despite the challenges of 2022 and 2023, the company delivered strong returns and experienced significant growth, particularly in retail unit trust AUM, which grew by 8%.

The group-wide AUM stood at RM50 billion ($10.9 billion), making them one of the four largest fund houses in Malaysia.

In terms of client acquisition, it increased its institutional client base by 8.36% in 2023, acquiring 236 new accounts. Client retention strategy focused on fund performance, regular portfolio reviews, market updates, and transparency.

It received a new mandate valued at around RM75 million ($15.6 million) and additional capital injections of RM580 million on existing accounts.

It introduced innovative products such as the RHB i-Sustainable Future Technology Fund and the RHB Global Artificial Intelligence Fund, targeting sustainable technology and AI megatrends respectively.

It also launched the RHB i-Global Sustainable Disruptors Fund, which was the first global Shariah and ESG compliant thematic fund in Malaysia.

As well as this, it successfully computed individual ESG scores for all names in the buy-list and completed environmental risk coverage for high-risk sectors, demonstrating a commitment to responsible and conscious investing.

With key funds outperforming, judges had no hesitation in awarding this category to RHB.

“Our tried and trusted investment strategy and the expertise of our dedicated portfolio managers has been the key to our success since our inception,” the fund said in its submission. “And despite a rocky, and often times, volatile 2023, this has proven to be no different.”


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