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The biggest acquisitions and expansions in Q3

From snapping up stakes to launching new offices, asset managers and private banks in Asia had a busy third quarter this year

1. Exclusive: Matthews Asia opens two new offices in Asia

In September, Matthews Asia expanded its footprint with two new offices in Asia and hired a new chief to oversee the business in the region, Citywire Asia exclusively revealed.

In addition to opening an office in Shanghai, the Asia-focused investment specialist also opened an office in Singapore, with an initial focus on portfolio management activities, company research and client service.

Speaking to Citywire Asia, company CEO William Hackett said in Singapore, at present the group is finalizing its license application, while in Shanghai the team’s initial focus is to better understand China’s A-shares market. Read more

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1. Exclusive: Matthews Asia opens two new offices in Asia

In September, Matthews Asia expanded its footprint with two new offices in Asia and hired a new chief to oversee the business in the region, Citywire Asia exclusively revealed.

In addition to opening an office in Shanghai, the Asia-focused investment specialist also opened an office in Singapore, with an initial focus on portfolio management activities, company research and client service.

Speaking to Citywire Asia, company CEO William Hackett said in Singapore, at present the group is finalizing its license application, while in Shanghai the team’s initial focus is to better understand China’s A-shares market. Read more

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2. Exclusive: Kamet Capital is now a multi-family office

Singapore-based single family office Kamet Capital Partners evolved into a multi-family office last quarter after signing its second big client this year.

Speaking to Citywire Asia, Kerry Goh, Kamet's chief executive and chief investment officer, said the firm started managing the assets of a Chinese entrepreneur in the second quarter after the tycoon sold his technology start-up for more than $1 billion.

With a second client onboard, Kamet's assets under management have crossed the SGD 250 million ($181.8 million) mark - a maximum threshold to retain a registered fund management permit in Singapore. Read more

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3. Global X CEO outlines growth plans after Mirae acquisition

In July, Seoul-headquartered Mirae Asset completed the acquisition of Global X, a $10 billion ETF provider that is partly owned by JP Morgan.

Speaking to Citywire Asia, Global X CEO Luis Berruga said the firm is expanding its thematic, income and international exchange-traded fund (ETF) solutions to broaden its distribution capabilities abroad after the deal.

The New York-based manager’s primary focus is on US-listed ETFs. But given Mirae Asset Management’s global reach, Global X is actively looking at cross-listing in various geographies and working with local counterparts to identify additional opportunities. Read more

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4. Bank of Singapore wins approval for Luxembourg unit

Bank of Singapore is making its presence felt in the heart of Western Europe.

In July, the OCBC subsidiary became the first Singapore private bank to be awarded an investment company licence to operate a wealth management subsidiary in Luxembourg.

The new business - BOS Wealth Management Europe Société Anonyme – began operations in the third quarter, and offers private banking solutions to ultra-high-net-worth clients in the European Economic Area and the UK.

It is led by Anthony Simcic who joined in March as managing director for Bank of Singapore's international team. Read more

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5.  Pimco opens Taiwan office, hires new GM

Fixed income investment manager Pimco is gearing up to build an onshore presence in Taiwan, led by its new general manager.

In August, the firm received a business license from Taiwanese regulators for its new onshore entity in the country, which will commence business as a securities and investment consultant enterprise.

The new office, Pimco Taiwan, will act as the master agent for 13 funds under the Pimco Global Investors Series, registered for sale to local Taiwanese investors. Read more

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6. Nomura to buy 40% stake in Julius Baer’s Japanese business

Tokyo-headquartered Nomura Holdings is set to buy 40% stake in Julius Baer Wealth Management, which provides wealth services to super-rich clients in Japan.

The acquisition, expected to close by the end of 2018, will see the new company be renamed to Julius Baer Nomura Wealth Management, plus have capital worth CHF 5.7 million ($5.8 million).

Julius Baer will be able to distribute its discretionary mandate services to Nomura’s clients, adding international products to the latter’s domestic offerings. This in return will provide Julius Baer access to Nomura’s high-net-worth franchise in Japan. Read more

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7. JP Morgan forms new alts group, appoints team head

This September JP Morgan Asset Management formed a new alternatives solutions group (ASG) to make the asset class more accessible to high-net-worth and institutional investors in the Asia Pacific region. 

Based in Hong Kong, the company appointed Shawn Khazzam as head of ASG, reporting to Jamie Kramer, who is the global head of the department.

The Asia Pacific team will be responsible for partnering closely with the firm’s client advisors on alternatives initiatives, which includes hedge funds, real assets, private equity, private credit, and liquid alternatives. Read more

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8. Lombard Odier signs Japanese partnership deal

Swiss investment company Lombard Odier signed a wealth management agreement with Mizuho Securities Singapore (MHSS) in August.

MHSS is a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Mizuho Securities Group, specializing in asset management and succession through equities and investment trusts.

The deal allows MHSS’ clients to have access to Lombard Odier’s wealth management platform. What’s more, Lombard Odier will also help to boost MHSS’ capabilities in wealth management, through training and knowledge sharing. Read more 

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9. CreditEase creates new WM division for overseas clients

Beijing-based CreditEase Wealth Management established a business unit that caters to clients residing outside of China in the last quarter.

The new Overseas Wealth Management Department, launched in August, provides services to high-net-worth Chinese with over $1 million in investable assets.

‘After years of accumulation in capacity, CreditEase Wealth Management is fully prepared in terms of global investment capacity, scientific and technological capacity and service capacity for the international market,’ said founder and chief executive Ning Tang. Read more

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10. Natixis to snap up minority stake in WCM

Natixis Investment Managers agreed to acquire minority stake in California-based WCM Investment Management in July.

As part of the deal, Natixis will acquire a 24.9% stake in WCM and become their exclusive third-party distributor for WCM’s investment strategies globally, subject to limited exclusions.

The company's spokesperson told Citywire Asia that Natixis will become the exclusive third-party distributor for WCM for all markets except US and Australia. Read more

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11. Reyl to boost AUM with Ohman Bank acquisition

Swiss bank Reyl & Cie is buying Ohman Bank in Luxembourg, boosting its assets under management by EUR 800 million ($926 million).

The deal, subject to regulatory approvals, is expected to close in the first quarter of 2019.

Ohman Bank, the international private banking arm of Swedish financial group Ohman, offers high-net-worth clients asset management, order execution and wealth management services. 

Commenting on what the acquisition means for Reyl in Asia, Singapore CEO Antoine Denaiffe said: ‘Our Asian clients seeking to open private banking accounts in the Eurozone will soon be able to do so at Reyl Luxembourg.’ Read more

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12. Fidelity’s investment arm opens Singapore office

In a move to further strengthen its presence across Southeast Asia, Eight Roads, the venture capital arm of Fidelity International, recently opened an office in Singapore.

Currently, Eight Roads has three investments in Southeast Asia and is seeking to back growth stage technology, healthcare and consumer companies.

The company said it will focus on making early-growth investments of up to $30 million.

In Southeast Asia, Eight Roads has investments in Eywa Pharma, a generic pharmaceutical manufacturer; virtual credit card company Akulaku; and banking platform Silot. Read more

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