Posted inBusiness moves

UOB AM acquires Vietnam firm

It aims to be the leading asset manager in the country within the next five years.
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam: Saigon City Hall, Vincom Center towers and colorful street traffic blurred in motion. Saigon downtown with its famous landmarks. Stock image with removed logos.

UOB Asset Management (UOB AM) has completed its acquisition of all shares of VAM Vietnam Fund Management (VAM VN), according to a statement from the Singapore asset manager.

Subject to regulatory approval, the Ho Chi Minh City-based firm will be renamed UOB Asset Management (Vietnam) Fund Management.

UOB AM announced in December 2019 that it was acquiring VAM VN, which managed around VND 114bn ($4.94m). The deal size was estimated to be nearly $5m.

Founded in 2009, VAM VN has been providing investment management advisory and services to institutional and individual investors through solutions such as corporate structured funds and segregated accounts, according to the statement.

Under the acquisition, UOB AM will provide knowledge transfer in areas such as sustainable investments, smart beta and multi-asset strategies, as well as share best practices across the front- middle- and back-office functions. These include the adoption of technologies, such as data analytics and artificial intelligence, in operating processes and product distribution channels to serve the needs of Vietnam’s digitally-savvy investors.

“Our goal is to become one of the leading asset management firms in Vietnam within the next five years,” Thieu Thi Nhat Le, CEO of UOB AM’s new Vietnam subsidiary, said in the statement.

“We will enhance our investment capabilities to serve the growing needs of Vietnam’s investors better. We are also committed to developing local talent and in turn contribute to the progress of the country’s asset management industry,” she added.

UOB AM expects huge business opportunities in Vietnam. According to the firm, the country’s onshore mutual funds AUM saw a compounded annual of around 75% from 2016 to reach $1.5bn in September last year.

“Vietnam is a rising star in Asean and we are pleased to be able to bring our suite of fund solutions to local institutional and individual investors,” Thio Boon Kiat, UOB AM’s group CEO, said.

“The expertise of our new Vietnam office will also complement our broader strategies in Asean equity and fixed income funds and investment mandates, enriching our product offering for investors and creating more collaboration opportunities with partners across Asia.”

Foreign asset managers have seen the potential to do business in Vietnam. For example, Mirae Asset Global Investments established a joint venture with Vietnam’s State Capital Investment Corporation in 2018. Last year, Mirae Asset said that it was launching more products in Vietnam after hiring more fund managers.

Other firms that have a presence in Vietnam include Franklin Templeton Investments (via its joint venture, Vietcombank Fund Management, with Vietcombank) and Eastspring Investments.

UOB AM’s move into Vietnam further expands its reach in the Asean. In September 2019, it established a presence in Indonesia after it completed its acquisition of a 75% stake in Jakarta-headquartered PG Asset Management.

Elsewhere in Asia, it has a presence in Brunei, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam, according to the statement. It also has a joint venture with Ping An Fund Management Company in China and also has forged strategic alliances with UTI International in India and Wellington Management in Singapore.

As of the end of December, UOB AM and its subsidiaries manage around S$35.6bn ($26.7bn) in client assets, according to the statement.

Part of the Mark Allen Group.