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Dimensional in aggressive Asia fund push

US-based Dimensional Fund Advisors is awaiting regulatory approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore for nine funds to be sold in the Lion City, according to records from the regulator.

The firm filed the prospectuses of the nine funds with the MAS this week, the records show. When approved, it will be the first time that the firm will be distributing funds to retail investors in Singapore.

The firm, which globally manages around $586bn in assets, already has one fund registered with the MAS, the Dimensional Euro Inflation Linked Intermediate Duration Income Fund, but the product is only available to accredited investors, according to data from FE Analytics.

The nine new funds include six equity funds: European Value Fund, Emerging Markets Large Cap Core Equity Fund, Global Core Equity Fund, Global Targeted Value Fund, Pacific Basin Small Companies Fund and the World Equity Fund, two fixed income funds: the Global Short Fixed Income Fund and the Global Short-Term Investment Grade Fixed Income Fund, and one balanced fund: the World Allocation 60/40 Fund.

FSA sought more information from Dimensional, but the firm was not able to comment in time for publication about its initiatives in Asia.

Besides Singapore, the firm also has an office in Hong Kong, where it obtained a Type 1 licence (dealing in securities) from the Securities and Futures Commission in November last year, according to records from the Hong Kong regulator.

The responsible officers for the Hong Kong office are Peng Chen, the firm’s Singapore-based CEO for Asia (ex-Japan), Carlo Venes, who leads the firm’s institutional business in Asia (ex-Japan) and Amy Shang, Singapore-based regional director for Greater China.

Dimensional’s Asia push dates back in 2012, when it hired Peng and Venes. Peng was previously Morningstar’s president for the firm’s global investment division, while Venes was Fidelity’s Asia-Pacific head of institutional business.

Shang joined the firm in 2014, according to her Linkedin profile and was previously from Pyramis Global Advisors.

Within Asia-Pacific, the firm also has offices in Tokyo, Melbourne and Sydney, according to the firm’s website.

The Dimensional Euro Inflation Linked Intermediate Duration Fixed Income Fund versus its sector in Singapore.

Note: Fund and sector NAVs have been converted to US dollars for comparison purposes.

Part of the Mark Allen Group.