Blackrock jumped two spots in Broadridge’s April China Power Ranking list to joint top place, greatly benefiting from its wholly-owned fund management company (FMC), that has gone fully operational with the first retail fund, which gathered more than $1bn within just five days of its launch.
The world’s largest asset manager also saw an equity wealth product debut in China, as its majority-owned wealth management joint venture introduced an equity strategy that drew $380m in funds.
“The onshore retail success, on top of the firm’s offshore China fund growth and other institutional developments, pushed Blackrock to the top position in terms of the overall China AUM score,” Yoon Ng, Broadridge’s senior director of APAC Insights, said in a statement.
Broadridge, a global fintech firm, takes into account six key criteria, including China fund AUM, the extent of business scope, local operational strength, brand perception, global investment strength and China as a strategic priority. Scores across the six criteria are weighted and tallied to determine the foreign manager that is best positioned in the market.
UBS Global Asset Management (UBS GAM) improved its ranking by one spot compared with April to join Blackrock at the top of the rankings, mainly because of progress in developing its local operations and business scope. The Swiss wealth giant received approval for its first product launch in China under (northbound) mutual recognition of fund scheme.
Meanwhile, JPMorgan Asset Management (JPMAM) retained its top position, albeit jointly, as it still led in brand recognition among both Chinese retail and institutional investors.
JPMAM’s 10% investment in China Merchants Bank’s wealth unit will also help the firm grow its AUM in the bank wealth management product (WMP) market in China. Moreover, JPMAM leads in the product approvals via the latest Greater Bay Area Wealth Management Connect, while UBS GAM and Blackrock also offer eligible funds to be sold to mainland Chinese investors under the same scheme.
Following Blackrock’s footsteps, more global asset managers have been applying for the FMC license. Fidelity and Neuberger Berman are among the early movers that have just received final approval. This helped boost their China Power Rankings by three and 11 spots, respectively.
Ng expects that other FMC applicants, such as Schroders and Alliance Bernstein, will likely see similar improvements in their scores and rankings upon approval.
In addition, the vast size of the bank WMP market in China has also increasingly drawn global asset managers, with Amundi being one of the early beneficiaries. The French manager bettered its ranking over the past 18 months by an impressive seven spots.
“This was largely attributed to the firm’s China AUM growth via both its minority-owned mutual fund JV and majority-owned bank wealth management JV,” said Ng.