House of the Year – Overall
J.P. Morgan Asset Management
Despite unprecedented challenges arising from the pandemic in 2021, we remain steadfast in aligning our priorities with clients and investors: making the most of a solutions-oriented approach, keeping laser-focused on delivering top-notch client services and offering competitive and effective investment solutions to Asia’s dynamic and diverse wealth management community. We stay firmly committed to growing our business presence and expanding our product suite to better meet the needs of clients in Asia-Pacific.
From the emergence of concerning new coronavirus variants, to bouts of volatility across the broad equity markets, alongside threats from rising inflation, the last 12 months presented a patchwork of risks for the asset management industry in Asia-Pacific.
Amidst challenges in investment markets, J.P. Morgan Asset Management delivered strong alpha outperformance across a range of asset class strategies, while attracting robust inflows from clients and investors throughout the region.
2021 is when J.P. Morgan Asset Management made significant strides in a number of key strategic priorities: Strengthening and broadening its product shelf in ESG, cementing and building out its presence in onshore China and deepening client outreach across Asia Pacific.
In terms of performance, the Asset Management Awards for Excellence’s judging panel commended JPMAM across the following four categories in 2021 — more than any other fund house.
For Best Fund Provider – Liquid Alternative, the panel recognised J.P. Morgan Asset Management’s ability to deliver to clients much sought-after yield enhancement in a manner uncorrelated to traditional asset classes. For Best Fund Provider – China A-Shares Equity, J.P. Morgan Asset Management impressed after its strategy delivered outperformance at a time of stomach-churning volatility. In the Best Fund Provider – Disruptive Fund category, J.P. Morgan Asset Management’s genetic therapies strategy identified a truly transformative technology while delivering market-beating returns. When it came to Best Fund Provider – Europe Equity, the fund house was able to identify valuation differentials between that continent’s technology providers and their US peers.
The firm has expanded offerings strategically across sustainable investments and thematics, partnering with Credit Suisse to launch a strategy that invests in companies “that address the links between nutrition, health, biodiversity and climate”, with US$250 million in assets when it was launched in November 2021. Earlier, J.P. Morgan Asset Management launched its first thematic multi-asset fund in Hong Kong.
Because of rising investor interest in alternative asset classes — against a backdrop of ultra-low bond yields and fair equity valuations — J.P. Morgan Asset Management has been developing investment expertise and adding experienced investment professionals to bolster its offerings within alternatives.
The US fund house spent the year 2021 building out its presence in China. In March, the US investment house said it would buy a 10% stake in CMB Wealth Management for about RMB 2.67 billion (US$410 million). The deal cemented the 2019 strategic partnership between J.P. Morgan Asset Management and China Merchants Bank, which oversees assets worth more than US$1 trillion and is considered one of China’s strongest banks.
J.P. Morgan Asset Management’s achievements in China have been recognised across the industry over the last 12 months. The US group edged out UBS Asset Management to take top spot in fintech provider Broadridge’s annual China Power Rankings in April, based on a doubling of its assets in the world’s second-largest economy. Z-Ben Advisors, a China-focused fund research group, ranked J.P. Morgan Asset Management as the best-performing asset manager in China in 2021.
Importantly, J.P. Morgan Asset Management has been a leader in Asia Pacific fund industry in terms of embracing digitalisation since the COVID-19 pandemic began. While the firm had to pivot quickly in 2020 to respond to pandemic challenges, in 2021 it markedly accelerated the shift in client engagements to online platforms, hosting over 560 virtual client meetings in the region.
For these reasons, J.P. Morgan Asset Management is Asian Private Banker’s House of the Year – Overall.