Manulife Asset Management has appointed Endre Pederson as senior managing director of its Singapore based Asian fixed income team, as it makes the country the hub for its ASEAN operations.
In his expanded role, Pedersen will lead the pan-Asian fixed income strategies and drive the South Asian fixed income capability, which comprises 20 investment professionals managing about US$7bn (S$8.73bn, £4.17bn) in fixed income assets across six markets.
In addition to the appointment of Pederson, the American heritage company has relocated Luc Froehlich, senior director, Asian fixed income, from Hong Kong to the Singapore office.
Apart from scaling up the fixed income business, the fund house also has plans to bring some of its global multi-asset or global balanced products from its portfolio solutions group to Singapore, according to Jill Smith, head and chief investment officer, Singapore said at a media briefing. While it will focus on organic growth, the fund house is also open to acquisitions.
The office in Singapore has served as a complementary investment hub committed to the ASEAN market since 2012 along with the company’s regional headquarters in Hong Kong.
Expanding on the group’s plans for the the fixed income business, Pedersen said: “We are trying to continue to build and strengthen our business and strengthen the fixed income presence we have in Singapore, making sure we can actually cater to the clients that we are seeing coming through.
“Investors are increasingly coming to recognise the quality and size of the Asian fixed income market.”
Manulife Asset Management’s fixed income assets in Asia have grown to US$41bn as of 31 December from about US$12bn in 2008.
As of December-end, the fixed income assets managed in Singapore were US$2bn while that in Hong Kong stood at US$19bn.
“The opportunity set is expanding as most governments in the region are now rated investment grade and regional corporations are increasingly turning to bond market as a primarily source of financing,” added Pedersen.
He pointed out that issuances in local and hard currency bond markets have grown to about US$7trn and US$446bn respectively, as of the first quarter of the year.
Meanwhile, Smith said the Singapore office has secured more than S$500m in new institutional mandates since 2013, with the asset mix skewed more towards fixed income.
In November last year, Manulife Holdings Berhad, the Malaysian arm of Canada's Manulife Financial, agreed to acquire MAAKL Mutual, a Malaysian unit trust company.