Senior hire for Nikko Asset Management as it expands its manager selection business

Press Release

29 May 2012
  • Nikko AM World Series Fund Platform to extend across Europe and Asia
  • Aoifinn Devitt appointed to lead the expansion out of London

Nikko Asset Management Co., Ltd ("Nikko AM") today announced the appointment of Aoifinn Devitt as Head of World Series Fund Platform to lead and manage the expansion of Nikko AM's manager selection business from primarily Japan, to Europe and other parts of Asia.

The World Series Fund Platform channels funds packaged under the Nikko AM brand which are currently sub-advised by more than 40 managers worldwide including PIMCO, Wellington, JP Morgan Asset Management, Ashmore, Blue Bayand Franklin Templeton and distributed to institutional, retail and high net worth investors across Asia. The Nikko AM group's broad distributor network now includes more than 300 Asian intermediaries.

The platform, which centres on research conducted out of New York and Sydney, currently has over US$ 29 billion 1 of third-party manager products distributed across Japan, Australia and Singapore. These products are typically invested in specific geographic areas or industry sectors including emerging markets, infrastructure and healthcare and pursue non-traditional strategies such as alternative investments, emerging multi-asset funds, hedge funds and REITs.

Nikko AM is now expanding the World Series Fund Platform to increase the scope of providers covered by the programme, as well as extend distribution across new marke ts with a greater focus on non-Japan Asia. By partnering with external managers on a sub-advisory basis, Nikko AM intends to continue to broaden its product line-up and cater to investors' evolving needs.

Aoifinn will be based in London and will manage the global third -party manager research and selection functions, while further developing Nikko AM's "manager of manager" product line. She will unify and leverage Nikko AM's existing network of teams in New York, Tokyo and Sydney, and build out additional capabilities in Europe and other parts of Asia.

In addition to leading the World Series Fund Platform , Aoifinn is currently the appointed investment sub-adviser to the City Financial Asian Absolute Growth Fund2 , an Asian focused multi-manager fund with approximately US$60 million in assets under management, in which a number of prominent UK pension funds invest. It is City Financial's intention, concurrent with Aoifinn's start and subject to the receipt of all regulatory approvals, to appoint Nikko AM as sub-advisor to the City Financial Asian Absolute Growth Fund. Under this arrangement, the fund will have access to the broader resources of the World Series Fund Platform and Nikko AM's extensive distribution capabilities.

Aoifinn has established a strong reputation in the global manager selection market, having previously worked at Cambridge Associates and Goldman Sachs.

Charlie Metcalfe, President of Nikko AM Europe,commented:

"As Asian specialists, when we don't have the investment capability in-house, we may partner with external managers to provide interesting, best-in-class solutions, packaged under the well-recognised Nikko AM brand and distributed to investors via our intermediaries.

Likewise, Nikko AM's World Series Fund Platform has established itself as a unique channel for many of the world's leading asset managers to tap into our extensive distribution network in Asia. Growing investor demand, coupled with Nikko AM's distribution arrangements and the barriers to entry for non-Asian managers, means that the World Series Fund Platform has huge scope to develop further.

Aside from the immediate Asian hedge fund of fund benefits, Aoifinn brings extraordinary experience, energy, intelligence and entrepreneurial skills to our business. She will develop the group's existing capabilities, add new ones, and provide a common framework of analysis, process and operations across our offices."

Aoifinn Devitt commented:

"This is an excellent opportunity to bring my experience, skills and relationships to bear within Nikko AM as it builds on the success of the World Series Fund Platform . We can tap in to the outstanding growth opportunities in Asia, where Nikko AM has established a clear presence and reputation as the world's leading Asian asset management company. Additionally, what I currently deliver to UK institutional investors within the City Financial Asian Absolute Growth Fund3 will be materially enhanced by Nikko AM's reach."

1 As at 30April 2012.
2 City Financial Investment Company Limited is a London-based asset management group authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. The City Financial Asian Absolute Growth Fund is not available in Singapore.
3 See pt 2

– ENDS –

For inquiries, please contact:

Jeanie Cheah, Senior Marketing Manager
Tel: +65-6500-5793

About Nikko Asset Management

With USD203.9 billion* under management, Nikko Asset Management is one of Asia’s largest asset managers, providing high-conviction, active fund management across a range of equity, fixed income, multi-asset and alternative strategies. In addition, its complementary range of passive strategies covers more than 20 indices and includes some of Asia’s leading exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

Headquartered in Asia since 1959, Nikko Asset Management and its subsidiaries employ personnel representing around 30 nationalities, including approximately 200 investment professionals**. The firm has a presence through subsidiaries or affiliates in a total of 11 countries and regions. More than 400 banks, brokers, financial advisors and life insurance companies around the world distribute the firm’s products.

The investment teams benefit from a unique global perspective complemented by the firm's historic Asian DNA, striving to deliver consistent excellence in performance. The firm also prides itself on its progressive, solution-driven approach, which has led to many innovative funds launched for its clients.

For more information about Nikko Asset Management and to access its investment insights, please visit the firm’s homepage.

* Consolidated assets under management and sub-advisory of Nikko Asset Management and its subsidiaries as of .
** Including employees of Nikko Asset Management and its subsidiaries as of .

Important Information

This document is for information only and is not to be relied on as advice, as it does not have regard to the specific objectives, financial situation and particular needs of any specific person. It is not an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any securities or investments mentioned in this document. Investors should seek advice from a financial adviser regarding the suitability of the investment product before making any investment. In the event that an investor chooses not to do so, he should consider carefully whether the investment is suitable for him. Any prediction, projection or forecast on the economy, stock market, bond market or the economic trends of the markets is not necessarily indicative of the future or likely performance. Nikko AM Asia reserves the right to make changes and corrections to the information, including any opinions or forecasts expressed herein at any time, without notice. Nikko AM Asia accepts no liability for any loss whatsoever arising from any use of or reliance on any of the opinions expressed. Whilst Nikko AM Asia believes that the information is correct at the date of production, no warranty or representation, whether express or implied, is given to this effect and Nikko AM Asia expressly disclaims liability for any errors or omissions. The information contained in this document is given on a general basis without obligation and on the understanding that any person acting upon or in reliance on it, does so entirely at his or her own risk.
Nikko Asset Management Asia Limited. Registration Number 198202562H

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