News > Asset Management

S&P cuts Brazil to junk: what it means
Asset Management
<p> S&amp;P cut Brazil's sovereign credit rating to BB+.<br /> The Bovespa index fell about 0.6 percent on Thursday. The real tumbled more than 1.75 percent.<br /> Although a downgrade was expected, the timing of the demotion was unexpected.</p> <p>Standard &amp; Poor's has downgraded Brazil’s sovereign credit rating to BB+. While the move came as no surprise, the timing did catch many analysts and investors off guard, as the demotion was expected for later this year.</p> <p>In addition, the firm maintained the outlook on the rating at negative. This also surprised most analysts.</p> <p>Read more at Benzinga, here.<br /> Photo: Sam valadi</p>
A day in the life of an asset management consultant: Greek crisis and ‘healthy’ stress levels
Asset Management
<p>What is it like to work a London office of one of the world’s biggest advisory firms? A FinBuzz guest writer shares her daily working routine. </p> <p>It may look like I live in a fairy tale, but I worked hard to get it and don’t plan on slowing down any time soon. I have a degree from an American business school and moved to London right after studies. Recently I changed jobs and am very content.</p> <p>Three months ago I started a position with a financial consultancy that works with corporate and central banks in Europe, as well as insurance companies.</p> <p>8:45 AM</p> <p>I wake up, brush my teeth, and leave the house. My commute to work only takes one minute. Literally. I live and work in the West End and I am very lucky that my office of 40 employees recently moved to the area. When I knew that the office was moving, I looked for a place in the same area.</p> <p>9:00 AM</p> <p>When I get to my desk, I start the day by making myself a cup of coffee and reading all the news in FT, Economist and other major publications, looking not only for general developments, but for news in my area of expertise as well. We work a lot with EU banks, including lots of Greek projects. So every single day I read articles on the front page that I later use in my work. It is an interesting feeling, because you have to adapt and change your strategies every day, depending on how things develop in Greece. I feel that what I am doing at the moment is at the epicentre of the financial world.</p> <p>9:30 AM</p> <p>We start gathering for a team meeting. We work in teams that are constantly changing, depending on projects. The minimum time you spend on one team is three months, and the maximum – one year.</p> <p>Most of people in the office are from Europe, especially France and Greece. But we also have Italians, Germans, Chinese, Indians… everyone.</p> <p>I like working in an international team like this, because we have local people who know culture and the language of Greece in our case, but we also have contributions from the other members, who have very fresh and diverse views.</p> <p>All of us are global citizens: people from Greece who work here are not very typical Greeks, as well as people from Italy are not very typical Italians. They are more global Greeks, global Italians, etc. It seems as if we are all on the same wavelength, but each of us also contributes his/her own perks.</p> <p>So we discuss plans for the day as a team. Usually we will have a conference call with a client and decide who prepares what.</p> <p>I worked in a classic investment bank before. The business model there is traditional and you are not expected to develop quickly. All the projects that we do here are new and unique, no one has worked on anything identical before, so no one knows how exactly we approach it; there is no procedure. That’s why we feel like we are all in the same boat: senior members and people like me, who joined recently, are all welcome to put something on the table, to join the discussion, to share views and ideas. This is definitely my favourite part of everything I do workwise – discussing ideas with colleagues, brainstorming, finding a new way to do things.</p> <p>11:00 AM</p> <p>Conference call with a client. Last week I went on a business trip to Greece. I love meeting clients, because it effective to meet personally to discuss and agree on an action plan. So the conference ca</p>
NexAmerica People Moves: Goldman loses, replaces insurance lead; JPMorgan hires portfolio manager
Asset Management
<p>Hartford steals Goldman insurance lead. Hartford Investment Management Company, subsidiary of the Hartford insurance company, has hired John Melvin as head of portfolio management, effective September 14. Melvin most recently worked at Goldman Sachs Asset Management as CIO for the global insurance asset management business. He also worked as head of insurance fixed income in the Americas for Deutsche Insurance Asset Management.</p> <p>Goldman hires for insurance team. GSAM has hired Matthew Armas as global head of insurance fixed income for the firm in New York, replacing Melvin. Amas has worked as a senior portfolio manager for GSAM in London for more than 10 years. Insurance Asset Risk</p> <p>JPMorgan appoints emerging markets portfolio manager. Diana Amoa has joined JPMorgan Asset Management as a senior portfolio manager on the local currency emerging markets debt team based in London. Amoa most recently worked at UBS AG. Celina Merrill has also joined the firm as senior credit analyst in the corporate debt emerging markets team. The New York-based Merrill previously worked for Van Eck Global. Reuters</p> <p>Deutsche names new institutional head for MENA. Albert Trinkl has been named head of institutional asset management in MENA for Deutsche Asset &amp; Wealth Management. He will be based in Dubai. Trinkl most recently worked for Lingohr &amp; Parther Asset Management as head of institutional clients in the Middle East, Africa &amp; Australia. CPI Financial </p> <p>Woodford booms with six new hires. Woodford Investment Management has hired Lucinda Crabtree, Richard Lockington, and Harry Raikes as investment analysts. Mohammad Sohail, James Coats, and Dominic Eccles have also joined the firm on the operations team. Woodford was established in 2014 by Neil Woodford, formerly of Invesco Perpetual. Yahoo Finance<br /> Photo: ©iStock.com/ooyoo<br /> &nbsp;</p>
StanChart, Manulife team up to dominate HK’s pension fund arena
Asset Management
<p>HSBC may be the undisputed champ in Hong Kong’s pension fund arena, but perennial runner-up Manulife has been busy looking for ways to bridge the gap – and fast.</p> <p>According to Asia Asset Management, Manulife has just entered a 15-year partnership with Standard Chartered Bank – Hong Kong’s 12th largest Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) provider – to exclusively distribute the latter’s MPF products in the territory.</p> <p>The deal reportedly cost Manulife 400 million big ones, but in return, it gets to boost its 18.8% share of the region’s MPF business closer to HSBC’s 23%. Not to mention a large chunk of the nation’s Occupation Retirement Schemes Ordinance (ORSO) traffic and a big piece of StanChart’s investment management ops as well.</p> <p>Regarding the partnership, Manulife Asia CEO Roy Gori had this to say:<br /> “This partnership between two of Hong Kong’s top financial services companies will enable us to increase value to customers and deliver the benefits of economies of scale.</p> <p>The MPF industry in Hong Kong is experiencing continued consolidation, and Manulife is seen as a partner of choice. Manulife is a major player in the pension business in Hong Kong, Canada, the United States, and Indonesia. This deal complements Manulife’s recent acquisitions in Canada and the United States and accelerates our strategy to grow our Asia and wealth management businesses.”<br /> Photo: Kirill Ξ/Κ Voloshin</p>
People Moves: Aberdeen hires senior manager in Korea; Monument hires three in HK
Asset Management
<p>Aberdeen adds senior manager in Seoul. Dong-Ki Kim, Russell Investments Korea’s former business development associate director, has joined Aberdeen Asset Management as senior manager for its Seoul office. This will be a new position for the firm as it looks to expand its operations within Korea. Prior to his tenure at Russell Investments, Kim spent several years at Hanwha Life Insurance, where he managed investments from mezzanine debt to properties to hedge funds. He will be reporting to Alex Kim, the asset manager's chief representative in the region. Asia Asset Management </p> <p>Monument Group makes three HK hires. Albert Jun, a former VP and Fund Placement Division senior at NH Investment &amp; Securities Korea, will be joining the Monument Group in Hong Kong as director. He will be in charge of marketing, with a focus on Korean as well as other Asian investors. Also joining the firm are Sabrina Meng, a four-year veteran of Emerald Hill Capital Partners, who’ll be a senior associate within Monument’s analytics team, and Kris Ho, who’ll be handling the firm’s various client service and office management needs as its operations manager. She joins the fund placement agent from MVision, where she held a similar role the past five years. FINalternatives</p> <p>For Capital Markets moves, click here.<br /> Photo: Luke Ma</p>
GE looks to sell asset management arm
Asset Management
<p>General Electric is looking at a potential sale of its asset management arm, reports the Wall Street Journal.</p> <p>GE has expressed interest in cutting extraneous units to focus on its core industrial businesses. The asset management arm has $115 billion in assets from GE's U.S. benefits plans, as well as third party institutional investors. Proceeds of a potential sale will go to GE Pension Trust. GE Asset Management would still remain plan sponsor and fiduciary for the company's plan benefits following a sale.</p> <p>GE Asset Management is separate from the financial services unit GE Capital, but GE is moving to shrink that business as well.<br /> Photo: Diana Parkhouse<br /> &nbsp;</p>
Legg Mason cracks into growing ETF field
Asset Management
<p>Legg Mason isn't one to be left out. The Baltimore-based asset manager is breaking into ETFs.</p> <p>The $696 billion, multi-boutique Legg Mason requested regulator approval for its first four ETFs last week, reports InvestmentNews. Legg Mason CEO Joseph Sullivan has pushed to revitalize his firm after it was decimated during  and after the financial crisis. The ever-popular ETFs offer Legg the growth Sullivan is so fervently seeking.</p> <p>The four new ETFs include: developed ex-U.S. diversified core ETF, emerging markets diversified core ETF, the U.S. diversified core ETF, and the low volatility high dividend ETF. Legg affiliate QS Investors has developed the proprietary technology for the funds.</p> <p>U.S. listed ETFs brought in $2.4 billion in net new assets last month, according to ETFGI. The funds are raking in cash, posting net inflows of $219.7 billion globally during the first eight months of 2015, a 16% increase from the same period during 2014.<br /> Photo: Liam Quinn</p>
KKR snaps up stake in Marshall Wace
Asset Management
<p>Its competitors may be shutting down hedge funds right and left, but for private equity luminary KKR, now seems to be the time to get in, and in a big way.</p> <p>The Wall Street Journal reports that the vaunted private equity firm has taken a 24.9% stake in Marshall Wace (MW), the London-based, $22 billion long-short equity hedge fund run by Paul Marshall and Ian Wace.</p> <p>How much KKR valued its stake is currently unclear, though the acquisition was apparently a stock and cash deal with MW partners receiving 7.4 million shares in KKR worth $20 each.</p> <p>It isn’t just a straight-up purchase though; according to the Independent, the sale comes in two stages. The first involves an injection of cash from KKR which will be locked up until 2020, with the aforementioned KKR stock vesting in 2018, and in the next comes a possible 15% increase in KKR’s stake at the firm by 2019, with half of the additional proceeds reinvested in the fund and the other half used to snap up KKR stock until 2022, the time when Marshall, Wace, and Anthony Clarke get to cash out of the deal.</p> <p>None of them seem to be particularly eager to do so however, as Ian Wace told the WSJ:<br /> “We were never interested in a financial deal…This is all about the next 18 years of our life, not the first 18 years of our life.”<br /> The move effectively returns KKR smack bang on the hedge fund map, a place it was initially hesitant to join in and was ultimately unsuccessful at following the closure of its Goldman Sachs Principal Strategies group-manned hedge fund last year.<br /> Photo: Esther Dyson</p>
Stage set for first mainland ETF liquidation
Asset Management
<p>It’s pretty safe to say that the past few months have not been kind to the U.S. asset management industry. Here’s a story on Carlyle shutting down some of its funds, and here’s another one on hedge funds getting burned on Black Monday. Well, things aren’t so different over in mainland China:<br />  “ChangSheng Fund Management has asked its unitholders for approval to shut down its Shanghai-listed SSE Market Value Top 100 Index ETF. The Beijing-based manager has invited unitholders to attend a meeting in October for them to vote on the ETF liquidation proposal, according to a statement from the manager.”<br /> Apparently, this will be the first ever ETF liquidation in China according to Asia Asset, and it may be the harbinger of more closures to come as several mutual funds – including a QDII status fund – race to close up shop.</p> <p>ChangSheng has yet to receive approval though, and would need at least two-thirds of the fund's holders to vote in favor of liquidation in order to proceed, but given it’s 25% decline in July alone, chances are high that the DBS-backed firm will receive enough votes for it to push through.</p> <p>The fund, which was launched just two years ago, had just $3.2 million in NAV as of the end of June.<br /> Photo: Robert Daly</p>
U.S. ETFs/ETPs gathered $2.4 billion in new assets in August
Asset Management
<p>LONDON — September 9, 2015 — After a roller coaster August for investors, ETFs/ETPs listed in the United States gathered just US$2.4 billion in net new assets, according to ETFGI’s preliminary ETF and ETP global insights report for August 2015.</p> <p>In the first eight months of 2015 record levels of net new assets have been gathered by ETFs/ETPs listed globally, with net inflows of US$219.7 Bn marking a 16% increase over the prior record set during the first eight months of 2014. In the United States net inflows reached US$127.5 Bn, which is 19% higher than the prior record set last year, while in Europe year to date (YTD) net inflows climbed to US$59.7 Bn, representing a 17% increase on the record set YTD through end of August 2014. In Japan, YTD net inflows were up 74% on the record set last year, standing at US$28.9 Bn at the end of August 2015.</p> <p>“Worries about China’s stock market, currency and economy mixed with falling commodity prices helped to cause a correction in the US stock market. Investors in the United States are concerned given the uncertainty of when the Fed will raise interest rates. The S&amp;P 500 index ended August down 6%.", according to Deborah Fuhr, managing partner at ETFGI.</p> <p>At the end of August 2015, the US ETF/ETP industry had 1,768 ETFs/ETPs, assets of US$2.03 trillion, from 85 providers listed on 3 exchanges.<br /> U.S. ETFs/ETPs see net inflows of US$2.4 Bn in August<br /> In August 2015, ETFs/ETPs listed in the United States gathered net inflows of US$2.4 Bn.  Fixed income ETFs/ETPs gathered the largest net inflows with US$4.7 Bn, followed by commodity ETFs/ETPs with net inflows of US$822 Mn while equity ETFs/ETPs experienced the largest net outflows with US$6.4 Bn.</p> <p>YTD through end of August 2015, ETFs/ETPs have gathered net inflows of US$127.5 Bn.  Equity ETFs/ETPs gathered the largest net inflows YTD with US$83.9 Bn, followed by fixed income ETFs/ETPs with US$30.1 Bn, and commodity ETFs/ETPs with US$1.5 Bn.</p> <p>Vanguard gathered the largest net ETF/ETP inflows in August with US$3.6 Bn, followed by Deutsche Bank AG (NYSE:DB) (ETR:DBK) (FRA:DB) x-trackers with US$1.4 Bn, VelocityShares with US$1.3 Bn, ProShares with US$969 Mn and Schwab ETFs with US$812 Mn net inflows.</p> <p>YTD, Vanguard gathered the largest net ETF/ETP inflows with US$49.2 Bn, followed by iShares with US$46.8 Bn, WisdomTree with US$20.8 Bn, Deutsche Bank x-trackers with US$15.9 Bn and First Trust with US$9.2 Bn in net inflows.</p> <p>This article was originally published by ValueWalk. <br /> Photo: GotCredit<br /> &nbsp;</p>