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Baring Asset Management Korea, as SEIAK will now be known, is one of the largest independent asset managers in the country with over 20 years of experience in research, advisory work and fund management.
While Barings already has a substantial presence in the Asia region, with offices in Hong Kong, Tokyo and Taiwan, this “adds an extra pillar to our Asia markets”, a Barings spokesperson said.
“We had an office and strong institutional relationship there but this gives us a better opportunity to expand in the region.”
The two Barings people already in Korea will join the former SEIAK team in its Seoul-based office to make a total of 49 employees, of whom 28 are investment professionals.
Barings has already registered a number of products in Korea, including the High Yield Bond Fund and the Asean Frontiers Fund, which will be marketed through the acquired company’s extensive countrywide network.
The intention is for all of Barings’ products to be available to the South Korean domestic market in due course and the SEIAK range of fixed income and equity funds will continue to be offered exactly as before the acquisition.
SEIAK was founded in 1988 as Tong Yang Investment Advisory and in 1997 it merged with Asset Korea. The acquisition by Barings was completed on 28 March.
Baring Asset Management, which is part of the MassMutual Financial Group, has $53bn under management and prior to the acquisition had approximately $250m in assets managed on behalf of Korean clients.
Barings did not disclose the price it paid for SEIAK.