UBS tops ranking for best foreign money managers in China

Apr 26, 2019
Switzerland-based asset manager ranks first for second consecutive year

Switzerland-based asset manager UBS and US-based managers Invesco, JPMorgan, Schroders, BlackRock and Fidelity have topped Shanghai-based Z-Ben Advisors’ annual rankings for the 25 best foreign money managers in China.

It is the second year UBS has been ranked in the top spot and is an accumulation of consistent work in the region with the firm having been investing in China for more than 20 years.

It also comes after the asset manager was given the green light by authorities in Beijing last year to take a majority stake in its joint venture with China Guodian Capital – the first foreign institution to do so. Before this, policies limited foreign banks to acquiring only minority stakes, ultimately giving local partners majority control.

In terms of movers, Invesco has moved up two places from the 2018 list, where it was fourth, to second this year while UK-based investment manager Winton comes in at number 15 from nowhere.

The ranking data scores firms by three business lines: onshore, outbound and inbound, with the ranking produced based on the highest scores in all three areas. 

In terms of onshore money alone, Invesco outshines UBS, while JPMorgan continues to top the industry in terms of Chinese outbound investment. As for the top managers for China’s inbound businesses, Fidelity International ranks first, overtaking BlackRock from last year.

This year’s rankings also find the gap growing between the top six foreign money managers and the 19 others. European managers retain the largest slice of the top 25, with UK managers gaining the most ground since last year.

In terms of future fund flows, Z-Ben expects assets under management in China to grow to $12 tn by 2027.

Summing up the challenges facing foreign managers getting involved in China, the ranking report states: ‘Obstacles will remain for managers – and potentially not in equal shares. For those that do press ahead, simply porting a global operating standard into a China business will not work. Real adaptability will prove to be the single-most important variable for generating lasting success.’


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