Institutional Asset Management in Asia 2021

Reassessing the Fundamentals

Identify Opportunities in Asia’s Institutional Markets

  • Analyze active versus passive investing
  • Evaluate alternative strategies and co-investments
  • Learn the know-how for risk management
  • Identify the impact of regulatory developments on portfolio construction


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Report US Investment Consultants 2020 Detail

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Manni Huang

Manni Huang

Associate Director, Account Management, Asia


This annual report sizes and identifies the opportunities in Asia’s institutional markets, covering pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, central banks, insurers, government-linked institutions, and other key asset owners in Japan, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea, and Singapore. It discusses institutional asset owners’ investment concerns and priorities, portfolio allocations and new strategies, outsourcing, external manager selection, and investment plans.

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Each report is lead authored by a senior Cerulli analyst with significant industry experience. The report incorporates qualitative and quantitative inputs, based on Cerulli’s proprietary research process. For more on our research process, click here.

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A Note from the Author

Asian Institutions Shift Portfolio Allocations in Response to COVID-19

Jaslyn Ong

Jaslyn Ong

Research Analyst

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Jaslyn Ong

Jaslyn Ong

Research Analyst

Jaslyn leads the research for two of Cerulli’s annual reports: The Cerulli Report—Asset Management in Southeast Asia and The Cerulli Report—Institutional Asset Management in Asia. She also contributes to The Cerulli Edge—Asian Monthly Product Trends and generates quantitative analysis to support strategic consulting engagements. Specifically, Jaslyn covers the asset management markets of Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand.

Prior to Cerulli, Jaslyn was with the Asia Pacific asset management research team at PwC. Prior to that, she worked briefly with Prudential as a financial consultant during her penultimate years of university.

Full biography here.

The pandemic has impacted the way Asian institutions manage their portfolios. Institutional investors have been reducing their fixed-income exposure while increasing allocations to overseas assets, equities, and alternative investments in search of returns. More specifically, they are increasingly evaluating allocations to growth sectors that are expected to gain from long-term structural changes, such as digitalization and sustainable investing.

According to our research, there are several approaches institutions believe will optimize portfolio returns, the first being effective risk management (69%), followed by the inclusion of factor-based investing into portfolios (47%), having the right investment scale (45.2%), and integration of database and technology (43.8%). Asian institutions are prioritizing the quality of companies, low volatility, and blending growth and value investments to build portfolios that are resilient and have greater flexibility to respond to unanticipated events. With aims to guard their portfolios against external shocks, integration of sustainability considerations is gaining traction among institutions, and of growing importance during the manager selection process for knowledge transfer.

Managers seeking to gain institutional mandates will need to prove their capabilities, agility, and dynamic portfolio management. Our report, Institutional Asset Management in Asia: Reassessing the Fundamentals, offers asset managers a look into the challenges ahead in the institutional space, and opportunities available to managers seeking to gain mandate wins.

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