In our final installment of detailed write-ups explaining how our award winners were chosen, we present AsianInvestor's Asset Management Awards' Marquee winners.
We will announce the winner for Asia Fund House of the Year on May 18, when we host a gala dinner for all the Asset Management Award winners at the Ritz Carlton in Hong Kong.
In two categories, we also picked a winner and a finalist because both entries were strong.
To see the list of Marquee winners, click here
Asset Service Provider of the Year
Impressive organic growth and a robust pipeline impressed judges with this submission from BNY Mellon, which once again proved it has significant sales momentum in the region.
Despite the volatility and headwinds of 2022, the investment banking service registered a creditable performance across the Asia Pacific region.
It entered four new international emerging markets during the award period, winning key APAC mandates that ranged from Japanese asset owners to the National Pension Service of Korea.
Other key mandates included South Asian sovereign wealth funds and Asian central banks.
Its annual investment in technology including artificial intelligence, machine learning, cybersecurity and business intelligence came to more than $3 billion.
The launch of BNY Mellon Digital Asset Custody Platform in 2022 was a key milestone in this space.
BNY Mellon touches more than 20% of the world’s investable assets and continues to innovate in terms of digital assets, forging groundbreaking collaborations with market-leading fintechs.
“We tapped digital asset technology specialists Fireblocks and Chainalysis to integrate their technology to meet the present and future security and compliance needs of clients across the digital asset space,” BNY Mellon said in its submission.
“We will continue to innovate, embrace new technology and aim to develop an entire suite of digital asset services, including execution and tokenisation.”
Asset Service Provider of the Year
BNP Paribas Securities Services [finalist]
This BNP Paribas Securities Services submission for asset service provider of the year registered so many superlatives that judges couldn’t let the submission through without making it a finalist.
BNP Paribas outperformed the market in 2022, gaining market share, according to its submission,
It achieved 11% year-on-year increase in Q4 revenues to €2.5 billion (compared with growth of its peers of 8%) and it became the No.2 clearer in the world (up from No.6 in 2019).
Its transaction volumes were up 5.1% year-on-year across the region. In Australia, having moved its sub-custody market rank from No.4 to No.3 in 2021, it continues to capture market share.
Assets under management (AUM) were up more than 57% versus the market average of 15.6%.
BNP Paribas Securities Services' strategic focus to grow its alternatives business has paid off, too, winning it the most new clients in this segment while retaining 100% of its hedge fund clients.
In India, it raised an already impressive 6.00 score in 2021 to 6.91 out of 7.00 in 2022. In China, it scored 6.22 versus a global 5.76 average.
Its partnership with Blackrock resulted in several new mandates in the Asia Pacific as well as innovations that are unique to the market.
These include its ‘outsourced chief investment officer’ offering, a purpose-built data interface which provides clients with a holistic visibility of their investments across multiple external fund managers.
Best Asset Manager for Diversity
JP Morgan Asset Management
As the manager of $2.4 trillion in assets globally, JP Morgan Asset Management believes that driving business outcomes hinges on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).
“We’ve challenged ourselves to become the most diverse and inclusive asset manager to help build a more equitable world” JPMAM said in its submission. “(And) we believe diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) (is) critical to our success.”
Judges were impressed by the scope of the asset manager’s commitment to equal opportunity, anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies as well as its provision of DEI training sessions and its adherence to a code of conduct outlining shared obligations.
Building a diverse team that reflects the communities it serves, says the asset manager, means recruiting the best talent for all roles by focusing on a wide range of characteristics, including diversity related to gender, ethnicity, LGBTQ+ status and disabilities, as well as those with diverse perspectives.
This focus on different viewpoints has become a critical feature of its DEI efforts as it continues to source talent from under-represented communities and create new pathways for candidates with less traditional backgrounds.
Externally, too, the JPMAM is reflecting diversity in its suite of investment offerings as it steers capital towards diverse, equitable and inclusive outcomes.
These new fund launches include: JPM Social Advancement Fund - a global equity fund launched in July 2022 that invests in firms that offer access to essential amenities - and JPM Green Social Sustainable Bond Fund - a fixed income fund launched in November 2022 linked to sustainable projects that provide affordable housing.
Best Asset Manager for Diversity
Salzworth Asset Management [finalist]
Judges were impressed with Salzworth Asset Management’s commitment to diversity in Singapore – already one of the most diverse cities on the planet – with a submission that highlighted practical and achievable outcomes.
Responding to feedback from within the firm, the company appointed a chief diversity officer to hold the company accountable for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) objectives.
Ashli Koe, the asset manager’s most senior fund manager, took on this responsibility with a mandate that extended to the very top positions at the firm, including the CEO.
“Ashli was aware that setting too lofty goals would be performative, so she focused on a short-term strategy with metrics to measure success,” Salzworth said in its submission. “Her aims for 2022 were: 1. Drive inclusion for non-conventional career progression and 2. Build bottom-up support for DEI, to eventually integrate with a top-down strategy.”
Given that 60% of the women on the Salzworth team were mothers, Ashli knew that Salzworth’s policies regarding working arrangements and long-term leave needed to be revamped.
“She retained flexible working arrangements for her entire team, even as many organisations were moving back to the office after Covid-19,” Salzworth said.
“She also ensured that parents or would-be parents still had access to the same pace of career progression, even if their path was a non-linear one.”
Judges at AI were also impressed that provision was made for fathers as well in the DEI policy.
“Salzworth proudly shares our team’s gender diversity with all potential clients,” the submission said. “Not only does our gender diversity set us apart, but our team has attracted new clients.”
Best Institutional Product/Strategy
Investing in aircraft is increasingly seen as an attractive hedge against inflation, providing risk-adjusted returns on lease rentals that are often paid monthly.
This provides regular and stable cashflows during tough times.
Little wonder that ABL Aviation has been experiencing strong growth as global investors seek aircraft exposure for their portfolios.
The full-service aircraft asset management firm says that its deal flow asset value topped $4.5 billion throughout 55 transactions in 2022.
As it diversifies its customer base with more of the world’s leading airlines, ABL Aviation facilitated aircraft transactions with a total catalogue value of $2.5 billion over the past 12 months.
Key deals included the smooth close on the acquisition of two Airbus A321neo aircraft -- the longest-fuselage member of Airbus' best-selling, single-aisle A320 Family -- on lease to American Airlines on behalf of its Japanese partner.
In terms of crunching the data on the economics of aircraft investment, ABL Aviation aims to make sure investors are covered.
It is one of the only independent firms to maintain an in-house technical team that provides investors with a full suite of aircraft transaction services across the lifetime of a deal.
This includes its proprietary ‘Fly Forward’ system which uses modelling, data sets and automated analysis to help the investor understand the aircraft maintenance value that supports a deal.
These systems not only provide investors with an analysis on the change in revenue over time with the impact of maintenance costs, but also a calculation of the maintenance condition of the aircraft at any point in time.