group looks to expand offerings of multi-manager range to far east
Baring Asset Management is to set up a deal with life companies to distribute its multi-manager products in the Far East and Middle East.
Final details of the deal are yet to be decided, but Barings is currently in talks with two or three life companies.
David Coombs, director of multi-manager investments at Barings, said: "We have now built up a two-year track record for our multi-manager products. We wanted to expand our offerings to other countries because we thought the UK market was quite crowded. We believed the best way to offer the products to these areas was through life companies."
The products to be offered include Extended Risk, Optimum Risk and Reduced Risk. These multi-manager funds all invest in global equities as well as fixed interest vehicles, but have different risk profiles depending on the investor. For example, the Extended Risk and Optimum Risk have a higher weighting towards equities, while the Reduced Risk mainly invests in fixed interest portfolios.
Initially, Barings will target the Hong Kong and Taiwan market, but may look at Singapore in six to nine months.
The products will be offered in dollar and sterling versions and funds will be focused towards local investors.
Coombs said life companies were interested in selling high alpha products in the region.
For the Middle East, Barings plans a dollar version, with which it hopes to target a mix of local and expatriate investors.
Barings is also looking at distributing to the South African markets, but the company is only at its early planning stages. The group has no existing clients in the region but has been approached by a life company that wishes to sell its products in the area.
In a different move, the Dublin-domiciled Baring Multi-Manager Property fund is being granted distributor status. It is presently only open to professional investors, but will be made available to retail investors in quarter one. The fund will have a minimum investment of £5,000.
Meanwhile, Barings has converted its New Russia fund to be Ucits compliant and renamed it the Baring Russia fund. It will retain the same investment objective of the former portfolio, which has achieved an annualised return of 22.15% since inception in March 1997, compared to the CSFB Russian Stock Market index of 19.23%.
The minimum investment is $10,000 (£5,166). The initial charge is 5% and the annual management charge is 1.5%. There is a performance fee, which is 10% of the outperformance of the benchmark.key points
Barings in talks with life companies to distribute multi-manager products
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