Michael Reed, Chief Executive Officer, Manulife Asset Management (Thailand) tells Hubbis what the Thailand opportunity means for asset management firms.
Thailand offers a significant growth opportunity for Manulife Asset Management, according to Reed. “We understand that it’s a very important developing market,” he says. “You have a very large population, highly educated, that is going to become more and more prosperous as the years go by.”
In Thailand, Manulife offers a range of Thai feeder funds which feed into the range of Luxemburg funds that the firm has. “Clearly, as the market’s developing and growing and evolving, we see the need to produce more solution type products,” he explains. “In Thailand, like most Asian countries, people are looking for products, which can supplement their income.”
“So, we are looking for these solution type products where the clients can have a fund where they understand the risk, they understand the outcome they’re looking for, and we work very hard to produce that,” he states.
In August last year, Manulife launched an Asia Pacific REITs fund, which was built around the proposition of producing income for the clients in a risk-controlled environment. “We raised a very large amount of money, and it was a great surprise to us and the market rallied around that product,” Reed claims. “We see the market basically as becoming more understanding of complex products and the investors understanding the outcome they’re looking for.”
For 2018, Manulife is looking to launch two or three products for which the firm will work very closely with the local distributors in identifying the end needs of the client. “We are growing the number of the key distributors that we’re dealing with in Thailand,” he explains, “as the market starts to adopt more of the open architecture that we see in other countries.”