FINANCIAL adviser RCP & Partners has launched a service which rates the performance of investment managers in Asia. It says it can measure the risk for institutional investors who give assets to a manager to invest. RCP, based in Geneva and Hong Kong, said it had devised a system of 'fiduciary ratings' and selected Asia because it was home to the world's fastest-growing investment management industry. Shane Norman, managing director of RCP & Partners (Asia), said the system was the first of its kind. He believes the system (IMRA) fills a long-standing gap - the absence of an open method for evaluation of investment management organisations. Institutional investors currently could assess a manager only by engaging consultants, each with its own standards of assessment, who looked only at established managers. 'Moreover, their recommendations are largely based on performance management,' he said. 'That is catch-22, because as everybody is also told by the same consultants, past performance is no guide to the future.' IMRA evaluated 'all relevant managers, assessing the people, the process, the performance and the business', Mr Norman said. He said RCP had been approached by a small group of Swiss investors two years ago seeking a guide to Asia's highly fragmented but fast-growing fund market. It had enlisted the help of WM Co, which measures the performance of pension funds. He said there were three major reasons for a fiduciary approach - there was more than US$12 trillion in assets under management worldwide and the world needed to save for retirement; shrinking pension contributions from the developed world's dwindling workforce were pushing retirement funds into higher-risk, higher-return investments; investment management was unevenly regulated and investors only had limited protection. 'This is especially true in emerging markets,' said Robert Pouliot, managing director of the Geneva arm, RCP & Partners. He said reports would be issued quarterly by WM Co, on more than 50 investment managers in Asia with total assets of $82 billion.