Value Partners shares lessons learned in Europe

Industry Interviews

Bringing a Ucits fund with an Asia strategy to Europe for distribution is not the best way to enter the market, according to Hendrik Von Ripperda-Cosyn, Value Partners’ London-based country head and senior director for EMEA sales.

Hendrik Von Ripperda-Cosyn, Value Partners

More Asia-based fund managers, particularly in Hong Kong and China, are eyeing the European market and launching Ucits funds in Europe.

One of them is Hong Kong-based Value Partners, which has a London office.

The firm initially decided to replicate its flagship funds into Ucits format for European distribution. As early as 2012, for example, it registered its Classic Equity Fund, an Asia-Pacific (ex-Japan) equities product, in the UK, according to records from the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority.

“The idea was to distribute the funds through the distributors we already had a relationship with and then build that out. But we realised that simply replicating what our Asian investors like and selling that to European investors is too simplistic as a model and that clearly doesn’t work.”

Europe's regulators may give Asia-based players a more difficult time than their Western counterparts

Value Partners then decided to have a presence in Europe and in 2016 established a London office. Ripperda-Cosyn was hired to lead the firm’s foray into the European market. He previously held similar roles. In 2008, he headed Korea-based Mirae Asset Global Investments’ distribution business in Europe and after that joined Australia-based boutique firm Metisq Capital in 2010 in a similar capacity.

Demand for China?

Ripperda-Cosyn believes that there is increasing interest in China and Asia from European investors.

“The realisation has kicked in with the China A-shares inclusion [on global indices] and that China, despite the occasional blip in the market, is an increasingly important part of the global economy and market. Investors, as a result, are increasingly looking at adding exposure.”

The firm is now considering launching a “core-China” equity fund in Europe, which will focus on China A- and H-shares, he said.

Currently, the firm distributes five equity funds and one fixed income fund in Europe. These include two Greater China equity funds, a global emerging market (GEM) equity fund and a GEM bond fund. Both GEM funds were just launched last year in Europe.

Ripperda-Cosyn declined to disclose the amount of assets the firm has sourced from European investors.

Switzerland has been the target market due to the firm’s relationships with Swiss banks. However, funds are in the registration process in several European countries, including the UK, Germany and Luxembourg, he said.

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