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Asia: A Bourgeoning—Sometimes Challenging—Market

By PAPERJAM

Andrew Gordon, Managing Director and Head of Asia at RBC Investor & Treasury Services, provides his perspective on what success in Asian markets looks like for asset managers. 

Recognizing Asia’s significant potential

Recent economic growth and wealth creation in Asia has been nothing short of extraordinary at almost every level of the financial system, including the retail, mass affluent, high net worth and institutional sectors. The region still holds significant potential for asset managers—both traditional and alternative managers—and many firms are looking to participate in this exciting market.

Understanding its unique characteristics

While the opportunities are plentiful, Asia also poses a number of challenges for managers. The region includes a variety of distinctive cultures, languages and markets that are in various stages of evolution. It is tempting for managers to view Asia as one big growth story, but such an approach is unlikely to be a winning strategy. The global firms that have established a successful track record in this part of the world are those who have invested the necessary time and effort to understand the unique characteristics of the Asian market.

The global firms that have established a successful track record in this part of the world are those who have invested the necessary time and effort to understand the unique characteristics of the Asian market

Developing clear objectives

This has often required a level of experimentation with different initiatives that have resulted in successes and, on occasion, missteps. Managers entering the region need to be clear about their specific focus areas and how their firm is going to achieve its growth objectives, ensuring that they do not stretch themselves too thin.

Establishing local service teams

A well thought-out
business plan with
specific focus areas
and objectives is
essential

It is also essential to demonstrate a strong commitment to the region through the establishment of local service teams, and various forms of community and industry involvement. A well thought-out business plan with specific focus areas and objectives is essential, complemented by a commitment to stay the course and make the necessary investments to achieve this plan. Such a thoughtful, deliberate approach holds the potential to reap significant rewards for managers who decide to enter this burgeoning market. 

 

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Sources

Originally published by PAPERJAM, ALFI Focus on Global Fund Distribution 2021, September 2021