French asset manager looks to Hong Kong and Asia

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 12 March, 2013, 5:27pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 13 March, 2013, 5:51pm

Paris-headquartered asset manager Natixis Global Asset Management hopes to tap into the wealthy and potentially high-growth Asian market by raising HK$3.27 billion to HK$2.71 billion in its first year in Hong Kong.

Michael Chang, managing director for NGAM Hong Kong told the South China Morning Post that the major clients it was trying to attract were the city’s big institutional clients, such as the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, the Hong Kong Jockey Club, pension funds and charities.

Chang said these investors had recently shown a preference for US commercial property funds.

He also said assets under management (AUM) growth potential would be “huge” once Hong Kong and Taiwan regulators agreed to recognise each other’s fund products, which was likely to happen next year.

The fund house is also in talks with several Hong Kong-based Chinese fund managers to act as their advisers to help them invest in overseas financial markets, such as US high-yield bonds and the money market.

The French fund house, which aims mainly to sell its wealth management products, opened its office in Hong Kong in early November last year.

Natixis, Japan’s office, which is also a relatively new player in the region, experienced a 32 per cent jump in AUM between 2011 and 2012.

As of the second quarter of 2012, Natixis is the 13th biggest asset manager in the world, overseeing more than HK$5.82 trillion (US$700 billion) globally.

Correction: the story was updated at 5:40pm on March 13 to correct a spelling error in the 2nd paragraph, from "intuitional" to "institutional".