Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders
Daiwa Securities Group Inc., Japan’s second-biggest brokerage, is betting on a new Singapore office to win business from wealthy Asian clients keen to invest in Japan, Koshiro Taniguchi, Daiwa’s head of private banking said.
Daiwa’s outbound strategy is three-fold: win Asian clients interested in Japanese investments, develop Asian products for its Japanese clients, and win business from Japanese seeking lower tax jurisdictions abroad.
“In the future we expect some older Japanese to move abroad to minimise their taxes,” Taniguchi said. “We’re working with lawyers and accountants to figure out what kind of services we can provide.”
Once Japan’s banks get the green light to sell separately managed accounts to the country’s wealthy, they will go all out to grab the business from brokerages, said Toshihiro Miyake, a partner at the Japanese arm of consulting firm Accenture Ltd.
“If the restriction on banks is lifted, naturally they will compete with brokerages just like they did in investment trusts,” Miyake said.
Compared to their Western counterparts, managers of pension funds in Asia have been less likely to invest in alternative strategies such as hedge funds.
Therefore, Asia is likely to draw more players in the industry, both institutional investors and start-ups, he said.
One of the challenges facing private banks in Asia — especially in developing markets where clients may be “affluent” rather than “very wealthy” — is how to strike a balance between the number of clients serviced and the number of services offered, said Wm. David Seymour of KPMG.
Japanese assets offer the best bet for hedge funds over the next couple of years, as a lack of competition creates trading opportunities, the head of a hedge fund advisory firm said at the Reuters Wealth Management Summit in Tokyo.
“I think the opportunity set in Japan is the best in the world for equities-based hedge funds,” Ed Rogers, chief executive of Rogers Investment Advisors, said.
A surprise run-off in Brazil’s presidential election should not be a cause for alarm for investors, emerging markets investment guru Mark Mobius told Reuters in a telephone interview.
Brazil’s stocks, bonds and currency markets gained on Monday after President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva won only 48.6 percent of the vote on Sunday, short of the majority needed to win. Former Sao Paulo state Gov. Geraldo Alckmin won 41.6 percent of the vote, better than surveys had forecast.
“We’re not between a rock and a hard place, but between a soft spot and another soft spot,” said Mobius, who was speaking from Japan with reporters in New York. “He’s definitely the kind of guy that would follow similar policies to Lula, and maybe push the envelope a little further in terms of privatization,” he said of Alckmin.
Membership in the EU, scheduled for next year, and a relatively large, dynamic and creative population, are two reasons that Romania caught the eye of Mark Mobius, one of the world’s best-known emerging markets investors.
Mobius, who oversees about $29 billion in emerging markets assets at Templeton Asset Management, pointed to two Austrian companies that have invested in Romania, such as OMV AG, which controls Romanian oil group Petrom, and Austrian bank holding company Raiffeisen International. He was speaking from Japan in a telephone interview with reporters in New York.
Mark Mobius, the 70-year-old emerging markets investment guru who oversees some $29 billion in assets at Templeton Asset Management, says he travels some 200 days out of the year looking for investment opportunities — and doesn’t expect to slow down anytime soon.
Would he retire ever? “No, I don’t see that,” he said. “I enjoy what I’m doing,” added Mobius, who was speaking from Japan in a telephone interview with reporters in New York.