ICI Global bolsters ties between Asian asset managers and regulators worldwide

03 July 2013   Category: News, Asia, China, Global, Hong Kong   By Hui Ching-hoo

ICI Global, a trade organisation focussed on resolving regulatory issues facing global investment funds, is now set on helping Asian fund managers expand their presence out of the region with its expertise in international law and industry operations.

Established in October 2011, ICI Global set up its first Asian office in Hong Kong in May this year.   

According to Dan Waters, managing director of ICI Global: “While some markets in Asia are well developed, the region is diverse; and this has seen it consistently under-represented in terms of global policy debate. We aim to resolve this problem by giving them a voice.

“Meanwhile, we want to work more deeply inside the region given that more than 20 out of our 36 existing member companies have already set up operations in Asia.”

Mr. Waters notes that the organisation considers Hong Kong the right place to open its Asian office because of its strong links with mainland China.

To date, seven Mainland managers and one Japanese asset manager have joined ICI Global, including fund heavyweights like China Asset Management (Hong Kong), HuaAn Asset Management (Hong Kong), and Nikko Asset Management.

Furthermore, given that numerous mainland players are new to the world of global fund management, ICI Global considers itself a gateway for them to develop connections with their international counterparts.

Pointing to the advantages of being a member of the organisation, Paul Schott Stevens, CEO of the Investment Company Institute, says that ICI Global ensures that among other things, their members are kept abreast of rapidly changing global regulatory developments.

The major challenge for local players expanding overseas is engaging in international practices. Here ICI Global helps its members by giving advisories on the key global themes, he says.     

Secondly, the members can expect ICI Global to reflect their views before policy makers and regulators. For example, ICI Global recently shared its experience in the post-crisis development of global money market funds with the Chinese regulatory authorities.    

“In addition, the asset managers want to have a forum that allows them to interact with their peers and understand how other people organise their businesses,” says Mr. Stevens.

Mr. Waters concludes that in the aftermath of the global financial crisis, asset managers cannot only deal with national regulators. Rather, they must engage at every level, including regional and global bodies.