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In case you missed it (11 October 2019)

Legg Mason Global AM names Apac (ex-Japan) head; Aviva launches ESG multi-asset product in Singapore; Barings raises $235m for real estate fund; Merian acquires multi-asset business in London; ESG scores of Chinese companies improve; and more...
Aerial view of various coffee

FROM THE PRESS RELEASE DESK THIS WEEK…

 

People moves

Legg Mason Global Asset Management has appointed Andy Sowerby as head of Asia-Pacific (ex-Japan). Sowerby replaces Lennie Lim, regional head for Asia (ex-Japan), who has decided to leave the firm in March next year to pursue other interests. Sowerby’s title is slightly different as he is also the country head of Australia and New Zealand – two markets which he will continue to oversee in his new Asia-Pacific role. He has held the Australia and New Zealand role since 2016 and has around 25 years of experience in senior distribution roles…

Cult Wines has appointed Eddie Kir as head of business development for North Asia. Based in Hong Kong, Kir will focus on expanding the firm’s network of partnerships with financial intermediaries, including wealth managers, family offices and private banks, in mainland China, Hong Kong and Japan. Before Cult Wines, Kir was Commerzbank AG’s head of asset management for Asia…

Business moves

Aviva Investors has launched a multi-asset fund to both accredited and retail investors in Singapore. The Sustainable Income and Growth Fund aims to provide a 5% income per annum to investors. The fund also incorporates ESG factors, which will include the exclusion tobacco companies and companies involved in controversial weapons, as well as energy companies that derive over 10% of their revenues from coal…

Barings has raised $235m in commitments from institutions from US and Asia for its Global Real Assets Fund. The product is the firm’s first commingled fund to invest alongside third-party general partners in natural resources and infrastructure assets. The investors included public and private pensions, insurers, family offices and registered investment advisors…

Merian Global Investors (MGI) has signed an agreement to acquire the multi-asset business of London-based Kestrel Investment Partners. As part of the deal, which is expected to complete in December, the entire Kestrel multi-asset team will join MGI, including head of desk and lead fund manager John Ricciardi, who is also the joint CEO of Kestrel. Joining Ricciardi are portfolio managers Ian Forrest and Dan Matthews. The management of the $151m Kestrel Global Portfolio will transfer to MGI as part of the transaction and will adopt the “Merian” naming convention immediately upon completion. The fund aims to achieve capital growth by directly investing in a diversified portfolio of asset classes across global markets…

Hedge funds

Although the global hedge funds slipped into negative territory in September, the industry continued to return positive year-to-date at 6.35%, according to latest data from Evestment. During the year, all strategies returned positive, with event driven-activist strategies being the best-performing category in the hedge fund space…

ESG and other themes

Robeco’s educational platform, “Robecco Essentials” has been launched to all investment professionals in Hong Kong and Singapore. The platform includes learning modules on two topics: sustainable investing and factor investing. Each module includes educational content presented in animated videos, charts, case studies and a summary. The test at the end of each module gives participants two hours towards their Continues Professional Development (CPD) accreditation. Previously, the Essentials module on ESG was first offered to employees of Standard Chartered Private Bank in Asia and globally…

The ESG ratings of the MSCI China Index constituents showed improvement in 2019 compared with the year before, according to research done by the index provider. Overall, 11% of issuers in the MSCI China Index gained an ESG rating upgrade since their ratings were last reviewed over the last 12 months, compared with 7% who experienced a downgrade. However, taking the weight of the constituents into consideration, 20% of the constituents by weight in the MSCI China Index received a rating upgrade over the last 12 months, compared with only 2% by weight being downgraded. This suggests that heavily weighted constituents contributed more to the upward ESG rating momentum of the index overall than is apparent by the number of those rating upgrades…

MSCI has launched five thematic indices tracking the performance of long-term megatrends. The thematic indices are focused on smart cities, the digital economy, future mobility, disruptive technology and millennials. The launch adds to MSCI’s existing thematic index suite of four indices focused on cyber-security, robotics, ageing societies and efficient energy…

 

Part of the Bonhill Group.