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The biggest challenge for Lion Global

The biggest challenge for Lion Global

Although Lion Global Investors has about a dozen funds listed on the shelves of private banks, only a handful are recognised by high-net-worth investors.

A spokesperson for the company told Citywire Asia that the greatest challenge facing the Singapore-based manager is brand awareness.

‘As a firm, and a brand, we need to do more to raise our brand’s awareness amidst this busy, crowded and competitive business,’ the spokesperson said. 

Currently, only four funds – the Lion-Bank of Singapore Asian Income fund, LionGlobal Short Duration Bond fund, LionGlobal Vietnam fund and LionGlobal Singapore Dividend Equity fund – made it to private banks’ conviction list.

‘We need to do more to promote greater awareness of our core capabilities,’ the spokesperson said.

The LionGlobal Vietnam fund, for example, is managed by Citywire AAA-rated Kok Fook Meng, who is the top performing manager for the emerging markets Asia category over the past one year. The fund returned 35.5% over the past one year.

Meanwhile, the LionGlobal Japan Growth fund, which is managed by Citywire + rated Wee Ban Yew, returned 11.2% over the past one year. 

‘Different private banks have their own focus products which may or may not necessarily be our products. Our greatest challenge for now is brand awareness,’ the spokesperson said.

Nevertheless, Lion Global hopes to tap on its reputation as a trusted fiduciary and pension fund manager to international clients, as well as Lion Global’s familiarity with the operating environment of insurers, to give investors the confidence to invest with the Singapore manager.

The manager said it will need to proactively engage fund selectors at private banks as well as global consultants.

‘We have to and will continue to focus on playing to our strengths,’ the spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, Lion Global also has plans to sell its fund to other markets outside Singapore.

Although it has key partners in select markets, the manager said it is on a constant lookout for collaborative opportunities with like-minded potential partners, local asset managers and intermediaries to realise these plans.

‘We definitely have plans to offer our range of strategies and capabilities to investors in other markets,’

Lion Global, however, does not currently have funds that are registered or distributed under the Asean collective investment scheme.

‘The passporting regime is still evolving, and we prefer to participate in the scheme when there is greater clarity and the rules of engagement are mature,’ the spokesperson said.  

ETF

So far, Lion Global has only launched one exchange traded fund (ETF) – the Lion-Phillip S-REIT ETF.

The ETF, which was listed on the Singapore Exchange in October 2017, was launched in response to investors’ quest for yield and their interest in owning high-quality real estate assets.

The reason Lion Global decided to launch the strategy as an ETF rather than a unit trust is to make such an investment product readily available and easily accessible to all investors.  

The ETF was well-received and has raised more than S$106 million ($77.66 million) in assets under management at the end of the three-week during its initial offer period.

The manager said it does not have plans to launch new ETFs this year.

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