Posted inNews

JP Morgan AM to bring ETFs to Asia

Franklin Templeton is also said to be introducing its ETFs in the region, as active managers build up passive products in Asia.

JP Morgan Asset Management has appointed Sean Cunningham to the newly-created role of Asia head for ETFs. Based in Hong Kong, Cunningham will be responsible for developing the ETF business in Asia.

The firm has not launched any ETFs in the region, according to a Hong Kong-based spokeswoman for the firm.

“We will consider ETFs in Asia in late-2018 or 2019,” she said, but declined to comment on target markets or details on hiring for the initiative.

“[Cunningham’s] hire brings our Asia beta strategies team to five members,” she said, but would not elaborate.

Before JP Morgan AM, Cunningham was a director for iShares capital markets and fixed income for Asia-Pacific.

“We are taking this opportunity to consolidate the teams under Abdelhamid Bizid, Asia-Pacific head of iShares product, platform and markets,” a Blackrock spokesman said, but did not elaborate.

JP Morgan AM’s ETF business in the US began only in 2014, according to a statement from the firm at the time. Its first ETF, the JPMorgan Diversified Return Global Equity ETF, is a smart beta product that focuses on four factors: value, size, momentum and low volatility.

In November last year, the firm expanded the business to Europe, where it launched two ETFs on the London Stock Exchange, as reported by sister publication Portfolio Adviser.

The firm now has 35 ETFs which together have $12bn in assets, according to the statement.

Franklin Templeton to join?

In May, Mohamed M’Rabti, Brussels-based head of ETFs at settlement firm Euroclear, told FSA that JP Morgan AM, as well as Franklin Templeton, were considering an Asia ETF business.

“JP Morgan and Franklin Templeton were mainly active houses, and they have decided to enter the passive business and created ETFs. They want to come to Asia as well, because they see there is demand here,” he said.

FSA sought more information from Franklin Templeton, but the firm declined to comment.

“We are always evaluating which strategies and products to bring to market, and we will be planning more ETF launches in the future. We do not have any specific details to share at this stage,” a Hong Kong-based Franklin Templeton spokeswoman said.

In 2016, Franklin Templeton introduced its ETF business, Liberty Shares, in the US and in Canada in 2017, according to separate statements from the firm. The firm brought the business to Europe and listed ETFs on the Stock exchanges in Germany and London last year, and in Italy and Switzerland this year, according to a Portfolio Adviser report.

Globally, the Liberty Shares platform has $1.5bn in assets as of the end of April, according to the firm’s website.

Part of the Mark Allen Group.