Schroder Investment Management
For asset managers in the region, the bar is undoubtedly set high by Asia’s HNWIs who are well-versed in trading local single securities. Players who wish to win this allocation with a one-size-fits-all approach are mistaken.Albert Tse, head of intermediary business, private banks, Asia, Schroder Investment Management, believes the success of the British asset manager’s ability to act innovatively is rooted in a culture of engineering asset management solutions rather than pushing fund products.
“Many of our competitors have their existing flagship funds, and would therefore be inclined to focus on these products,” he explains. “Although we have our own range of flagship funds, our distribution strategies are not limited to these products, which we believe is apt as private banks are increasingly aligning their activities with their CIO views.”
It is in winning the small battles rather than “regurgitating the same sales pitch” that will help asset managers establish a firm position in the market. This could be introducing an additional share class to hedge local currencies, communicating the impact of both minor and major events to a portfolio, or even reopening a fund that was facing capacity issues due to keen client interest.
Tse believes Schroder’s edge is in foreseeing trends before they “become mainstream”, rather than just catering to requests and prevailing themes.
“Over the years, we have been pioneers in introducing features and products such as payout features and asset allocation funds, which have now become mainstream in the market,” he says. “We have an organisation that has the culture, capability and talent when it comes to innovative thinking.”
The demand for traditional Asia ex-Japan equity funds has dampened as investors realise that high growth doesn’t necessarily lead to high returns. But a versatile shelf of strategies coupled with an philosophy of innovating solutions according to client needs has led Asia’s gatekeepers at private banks to select Schroder as Asian Private Banker’s Best Fund Provider – Asia ex-Japan Equity.