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Sun Life AM’s AUM up 60% in the Philippines

One of the firm’s offshore strategies almost doubled in size in 2020.
Beautiful Entalula Island Beach Lagoon with typical filipino Balangay Boats. Aerial Drone Point of View. Bacuit Bay, Mimaropa, El Nido, Palawan, Philippines, Asia

Assets of Sun Life Asset Management in the Philippines have reached Ps 127bn ($1.64bn), representing a 60% year-on-year growth, as domestic investors remained invested despite the volatility caused by Covid-19, according to a statement from the firm.

The growth was driven by both fund performance and net inflows from investors. Among the firm’s best-performing products were global equity funds, including the peso-denominated Sun Life Prosperity World Equity Index Fund and the US dollar-denominated Sun Life Prosperity World Voyager Fund.

The World Equity Index fund returned 11.33% since its launch in July last year, while the World Voyager Fund returned 21.03% in 2020, according to the statement.

Both funds’ assets also swelled during the year, indicating that domestic investors are warming up toward offshore investments.

However, the firm was not able to provide net inflow data in time for publication.

Assets of the World Voyager Fund grew around 80% in 2020 to $26.3m from $14.6m in 2019, while the Equity Index Fund has around Ps 477.8m in assets, according to their fund factsheets.

The World Voyager Fund, which was launched in 2016, is an actively managed fund-of-funds product, while the Equity Index Fund is the firm’s first feeder fund that invests in State Street Global Advisors’ SPDR MSCI ACWI Ucits ETF.

The Sun Life World Voyager Fund – top holdings

Wellington – Global Quality Growth16.46%
JP Morgan – Global Research Enhance Index13.65%
Franklin Templeton – US Opportunities13.11%
Morgan Stanley – US Advantage13.04%
JP Morgan – US Select Equity12.78%
As of the end of 2020. Source: Fund factsheet.

Other asset managers in the Philippines have also indicated that mutual fund products that invest in offshore markets have become popular among Filipinos.

“Our foreign investment funds have proven particularly popular, as the pandemic highlighted the need for investors to truly diversify their portfolios,” Sheila Marie Tan, president at BPI Asset Management and Trust Corporation, said recently.

Manila-based Manulife Asset Management and Trust Corporation meanwhile has been offering various offshore solutions to Philippine investors, the latest being a global healthcare feeder fund.

Part of the Mark Allen Group.