Natixis GAM plans to double Asia-Pacific AUM in three years

Natixis Global Asset Management lays out Asia-Pacific expansion plans to leverage on Asia, China growth

NATIXIS Global Asset Management plan to expand their presence in Asia, with the goal of doubling their Asia-Pacific assets under management (AUM) from 5% of their global portfolio to 10% by 2020. The expansion plans are driven by robust investor demand in the region.

“[Asia-Pacific] represents today 5% of the AUM of Natixis Global Asset Management, and we have the ambition to reach 10% of the AUM by 2020,” says Fabrice Chemouny, head of Asia-Pacific for Natixis Global Asset Management, who took up the role last month. Chemouny explains that their expansion plans include a mixture of organic growth, acquisitions, and partnerships.

Fabrice Chemouny, head of Asia-Pacific for Natixis Global Asset Management (left) and Samuel Lam, head of wholesale and retail fund distribution for Natixis Global Asset Management at Hong Kong (right).

Although APAC is now cast by geopolitical uncertainty, the fact that people still need pension, insurance and investments is certain, says Chemouny. “Today we can see the appetite in Asia. Asian investors are willing to invest in Asian and pan-Asian equities and pan-Asian fixed income or alternatives,” says Chemouny, “we can see demand coming from Europe or America for Asian capabilities.”

“Asia-Pacific is a very diverse region and is very different from one country to another,” he adds, noting that China is on the top of Natixis’ priorities and represents a huge potential due to the growth of the GDP and the high saving rates. “The people are saving a lot of money. The demographics requires people to have a retirement plan,” he says.

China’s GDP grew at an average annual rate of 7.2% during 2013 to 2016, 2.6% higher than the average annual growth rate of the world’s developing economies during the same period, according to the country’s National Bureau of Statistics. Chinese analysts predict that the country’s annual GDP growth will be 6.8% in 2017.

The number of high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) in China has increased from 2006’s 181,000 to 1.6 million in 2016, according to Forbes. In addition, the rising new generation of wealth, or “the new wealth” in China, is reshaping the investment habits of the HNWIs in China, driving the rapid development of online services in the asset management industry.

In terms of reaching to retail investors or developing pension-related business, Natixis plans to leverage technology to extend its footprint in China. “It is impossible to do roadshow all over China because it is too big. This is where we need to take advantage of technology. We are currently working on it,” says Chemouny.

“Online platforms are popular in mainland China. When distributing the investment products, mainland China tends to leverage the internet rather than, say, for example, bank channels,” says Samuel Lam, head of wholesale and retail fund distribution for Natixis Global Asset Management in Hong Kong. “Digital is the future for our industry. I am thinking digital will be the key and particularly for this generation,” says Chemouny.