Asset Management Awards for Excellence 2014/15: Best Fund Provider – Global Bond

Franklin Templeton Investments

Isabella Chan, head of retail business, Greater China and Southeast Asia, Franklin Templeton Investments

Isabella Chan, head of retail business, Greater China and Southeast Asia, Franklin Templeton Investments

Emerging and rapidly changing risks in the global fixed-income markets are dissuading private bankers and their clients from over-participating in self-directed bond picking. With Asia’s demand for yield still persistent, private banks have been warming to the idea of delegating to more flexible portfolios in the past few years.Franklin Templeton Investments’ Isabella Chan, head of sales & marketing, Greater China and Southeast Asia, says the current environment lends itself to managing bonds in an unconstrained, benchmark-agnostic manner as “it empowers portfolio managers to manage risks more effectively”.

The growing high net worth market in Asia looking for such dynamic strategies will increase scrutiny of performance, but a focus on education will play a role in closing the gap in the understanding of a growing product universe.

Chan describes the topics which the American asset manager trains individuals at private banks through its FT Academy. While competitors will claim to have similar training services in training, Chan emphasises that the trainers are often salespeople, compromising the independence and risking excessive product pushing rather than focusing on education.

“Investor education is key and we have dedicated [trainers to conduct sessions],” says Chan, adding that the topics include basic mutual funds courses, asset allocation, the psychology of investing, and more.

As competition heats up in global bond allocation, and delivering performance is the bare minimum, selectors commended Franklin Templeton Investments by voting them as this year’s Best Fund Provider – Global Bond.