Asian Distribution Dynamics 2021

Navigating the Post-Pandemic Landscape

Identify and Capture Distribution Opportunities in Asia

  • Size the key six markets in Asia
  • Analyze product trends across different markets
  • Evaluate business strategies following COVID-19
  • Analyze ESG adoption among retail investors
  • Assess product development initiatives within the HNW investor segment


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Manni Huang

Manni Huang

Associate Director, Account Management, Asia


Size and identify opportunities in Asia ex-Japan’s mutual fund markets. Covering the six key markets of China, Hong Kong, India, Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan, this report focuses on key areas such as market sizing, product development, distribution strategies, and revenue and fee analysis.

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A Note from the Author

Asian Managers Ramp Up Digital Business and Focus on Emerging Investment Themes

Leena Dagade

Leena Dagade

Associate Director

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Leena Dagade

Leena Dagade

Associate Director

Based in Cerulli's Singapore office, Leena is responsible for retail research in the Asian asset management industry. She is the lead analyst for the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) research practice in Asia and contributes to Asian institutional reports, Cerulli Edge publications, and consulting projects.  

Prior to joining Cerulli, she was a deputy editor for an online financial publishing firm, covering the asset and wealth management industry in Asia. Previously, she worked with a real-time financial news and market data firm and an asset management company. 

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Asia ex-Japan fund managers had to adopt or step up their adoption of digital channels in 2020, and many are planning to do the same in 2021. According to our research, most managers in the region place the highest priority on marketing and sales efforts, ensuring robust liquidity risk management, and investing in digital platforms. Cost has also been in the spotlight, as uncertain growth has prodded fund managers to seek ways to manage operating costs more effectively—reducing operating costs is the fourth most important priority to managers seeking to ease the impact of COVID-19.

Increased competition, use of online platforms, and the gradual rise of passives are expected to continue fueling fee pressures and weigh adversely on managers’ margins over the medium to long term. While delivering consistent performance is important to retaining investors, managers are also likely to focus on cutting operating expenses and improving their product mix to include higher revenue-generating products, such as alternatives, and targeting wealthy investors for revenue growth.

In terms of product trends, thematic equity funds have been gaining traction across all markets in Asia recently, with healthcare; technology; and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) themes coming under the spotlight. Alternative investments will continue to play an important role in the portfolios of the wealthy clients. Apart from these emerging themes, many investors are still expected to look for Asian equities, Chinese equities, and Asian fixed income, as indicated by Cerulli’s survey of managers in the region.

Read more in The Cerulli ReportAsian Distribution Dynamics 2021: Navigating the Post-Pandemic Landscape.

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