The inaugural APB Intensive was held on 8 and 9 December 2020. Over the course of the two-day event, eight selected asset managers pitched their convictions, themes and products for 2021 to the most powerful gathering of private bank fund selectors via a private online audience with fund selectors from 17 Asia-based private banks.
Working to a tightly controlled eight-minute time limit, each asset manager honed its pitch through multiple dry runs with Asian Private Banker’s management to deliver presentations designed to pique the interest of the listening selectors, representing a distribution capability of over US$2 trillion of client AUMs.
After each presentation, fund selectors took the opportunity to provide immediate feedback through a carefully designed questionnaire that, ultimately, could result in a further request for a full presentation, one-on-one with private bank selectors and their teams.
Highlights and presentation synopses
Opening proceedings on the first day was Mark Holman, CEO of TwentyFour Asset Management, who showcased TwentyFour’s BBB-rated Strategic Income Fund. Focusing on the unconstrained nature of the fund, he demonstrated its simplicity and its ability to perform throughout the economic cycle. He also provided a tactical breakdown of the fund’s risk removal process which has secured an impressive yield of around 4%.
Next came Alan Siow, portfolio manager, and John Cappetta, head of private banking, Asia advisor, at Ninety One. Siow and Cappetta made a case for an upgrade Asia credit solution. As the credit cycle has ended and traditional performance drivers are no longer sufficient, a dynamic solution Asian Credit 2.0 managed by an experienced and award-winning team is where investors need to be looking for 2021 and beyond.
David Hawa, client portfolio manager, fixed income investments, at Robeco took the third slot of the afternoon, engaging the attending fund selectors with a top down and then bottom up view of Robeco’s Global Total Return Bond fund which has outperformed the Global Aggregate index by 150 basis points.
Capping off the first day was Gerald Koh, head of intermediaries for Southeast Asia, at T. Rowe Price with a fast-paced but thoughtful introduction to its China Evolution Equity strategy which has a differentiated, bottom up approach to the Chinese equity universe and the selection of future big winners. The numbers bore him out with a stellar outperformance – about 20% – of the MSCI China All Shares Index benchmark.
The second day opened with Mike Gibb, managing director of business development and client relations from Sands Capital, soon to arrive in Singapore to set up Sands’ Asian operations with a presentation on the firm’s Emerging Markets Growth strategy, which offers exposure to the secular shifts across the diverse equities opportunity set. The fund is annualizing over 13% p.a. versus 4.5% p.a. MSCI EM making it top percentile since inception and over 5 years according to the E-vestment universe.
Jupiter Management’s investment director, Huw Davies, followed with a compelling case for Contingent Convertibles (CoCos) in the current low yield environment. He focused on the Western European banking landscape and cross-examined CoCos in the wider credit universe.
Next up was Darius Foo, head of intermediary business development, at NIKKO AM, bringing to life the story of NIKKO’s Disruptive Innovation Fund. Foo broke down the fund’s name and philosophy by dipping into the history of technology and its concomitant profit cycles, finishing strongly with a nod to the standout year to date outperformance of more than 100 percent.
The final presenter was Felix Juesche, global head of investment specialist at DWS, who ended the day with a strategic and highly-quantitative breakdown of its Global High Yield strategy. By comparing global HY markets on a macro and micro scale, he succinctly explained how the fund’s track record of adding exceptionally good value and taking advantage of mis-pricings between currency issuers enabled it to outperform the broader HY market even in the difficult years.
By the close of the event, more than 40 requests for further information were sent out to participating asset managers by attending fund selectors. Asian Private Banker wishes them well in their follow-ups.
Asian Private Banker’s APB Intensive returns in March 2021.