Best Fund Provider – Japan Equity
Japan’s domestic policy and macroeconomic data progressed largely as expected in 2017, with eight consecutive positive GDP growth quarters contributing as positive indicators for the overall economy. The evidence from Bank of Japan’s latest quarterly Tankan Survey highlights growing confidence in corporate earning among Japanese companies.
Bank of Japan made no changes to monetary policy last year, which also helped add fuel to the country’s equity market. Indeed, after a few years of sluggishness, in 2017 the Japanese equity market saw a significant gain, with Nikkei 225 making a remarkable 19% return.
Despite clear evidence that corporate performance was improving under the current economic conditions, foreign investors, including private banks in Asia, remained skeptical of the equity market early last year. Yet, by mid 2017, some private banks in Asia started to make strong calls, becoming overweight on the Japanese market and adding Japanese equity exposure on account of favourable corporate earnings growth and attractive valuations.
Man GLG, the discretionary investment management business of Man Group, utilised this backdrop for its Japanese equity strategies, which gained traction among Asia’s private banking clients in 2017. The manager uses a rigorous, replicable process with a high conviction to seek opportunities that appear to be undervalued when compared with rivals within Japanese equities. With the clear focus on value, long-term investment horizon and unconstrained approach, Man GLG has achieved a consistent track record over the past few years in different market climates.
Additionally, in order to meet increasingly sophisticated investor demand in the onshore China market last year, Man Group received a Private Securities Investment Fund Manager (PFM) license to launch onshore private securities investment funds in the country – a measure that allows the firm to further expand into China’s six trillion yuan asset management market.
This combination of experienced management, along with a well-established process, has not gone unnoticed by Asia’s private banking gatekeepers, who have selected the firm as this year’s Best Fund Provider – Japan Equity.
“I am delighted that the strong long-term performance Stephen Harker and the team have achieved for investors has been recognised with this award. Against an increasingly unpredictable and volatile backdrop, impacted by extraordinary monetary policy, the team has continually demonstrated the endurance of its contrarian philosophy, and its value investing approach to Japanese equities. This is a fantastic accomplishment and I congratulate the entire team.”