Mark Li, Fullerton Investment Management (Shanghai)
“We are pretty close to launching our first fund, before the end of the year or in January,” Li told FSA in a recent interview. The new equity fund will be managed by Jason Zhu, Shanghai-based head of China equities, who has been with the firm for four years, Li said.
He added that the fund would have essentially the same strategy as its China A-shares fund in Singapore, launched in 2014, although there would be some differences since the product would be tailored for domestic professional investors in China.
Fullerton received its private fund management (PFM) licence from the Asset Management Association of China (AMAC) in September. Such licence allows foreign asset managers with an investment management wholly foreign-owned enterprise (IM WFOE) to develop onshore products for domestic institutional and high net worth investors.
There are now eight foreign firms that have obtained PFM licences out of around two dozen IM WFOEs in China, with Aberdeen Standard Investments being the latest to obtain the licence. So far, only two firms have launched onshore funds: Fidelity International and UBS Asset Management.
Fullerton established its IM WFOE in Shanghai in 2013. It initially provided investment research for its Singapore headquarters. The office currently has a staff of 13, including six equities analysts and one fixed income analyst.
The local office proved beneficial when last year regulators allowed IM WFOEs to launch onshore products via the PFM route, he said.
The firm has been investing in the mainland through its qualified domestic institutional investor (QFII) and renminbi qualified domestic institutional investor (RQFII). In addition to the China A-share fund, it launched the RMB Bond fund in Singapore in 2013, according to FE data.
Li said the firm wants to bring its fixed income capabilities to the local market, adding that the firm is planning to add more staff in China.
He did not provide a target date for future product launches.