Nikko AM stakes its place in Asia fund selection business

Nikko Asset Management has picked Aoifinn Devitt (pictured) to lead a fund selector product called World Series Fund Platform, and to manage the expansion of Nikko AM’s manager selection business from primarily Japan, to Europe and other parts of Asia.

The World Series Fund Platform channels funds packaged under the Nikko AM brand which are currently sub-advised by more than 40 managers worldwide. They include PIMCO, Wellington, JP Morgan Asset Management, Ashmore, Blue Bay and Franklin Templeton, and are distributed to institutional, retail and high net worth investors across Asia. 

Nikko AM group’s broad distributor network now includes more than 300 Asian intermediaries, the firm said.

The platform, which centres on research conducted out of New York and Sydney, has some $29bn of third-party products from 40 managers distributed across Japan, Australia and Singapore.

These are typically invested in specific geographic areas or industry sectors – including emerging markets, infrastructure and healthcare – and pursue non-traditional strategies such as alternative investments, emerging multi-asset funds, hedge funds and REITs. 

Nikko AM said it is now expanding the World Series Fund Platform to increase the scope of providers covered by the programme, and extend distribution across new markets with a greater focus on non-Japan Asia.  By partnering with external managers on a sub-advisory basis, Nikko AM intends to continue to broaden its product line-up and cater to investors’ evolving needs.

Devitt, who worked previously at Cambridge Associates and Goldman Sachs, will be based in London and manage the global third-party manager research and selection functions, while developing the“manager of manager” capability. She will aim to unify and leverage Nikko AM’s existing network of teams in New York, Tokyo and Sydney, and build out additional capabilities in Europe and other parts of Asia.

She has also just been appointed investment sub-adviser to the City Financial Asian Absolute Growth Fund, an Asian focused multi-manager fund with approximately $60m in assets under management, in which a number of prominent UK pension funds invest.

City Financial is set to appoint Nikko AM as sub-advisor to the City Financial Asian Absolute Growth Fund, subject to regulatory approvals. Under this arrangement, the fund will have access to the broader resources of the World Series Fund Platform and Nikko AM’s distribution. 

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