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FTSE Russell plans to turn Taiwan into an Asian hub, expand staff

By Goh Thean Eu  
May 10, 2019

Index provider FTSE Russell is moving aggressively to expand its Taiwan operations over the next 12 months, including more than tripling its headcount, as it plans to turn the island into a strategic hub in Asia, according to a senior company official.

The move comes after FTSE Russell’s parent, the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG), acquired Citigroup's fixed income business and Yield Book, a fixed income analytics solutions provider, for US$685 million in May 2017. Taiwan was at that time the largest hub outside of the US for the businesses acquired from Citigroup.

FTSE Russell’s plans for Taiwan will see it added to the company’s other business hubs in Asia, including Malaysia and Sri Lanka. Its main business centre in the region is Hong Kong.

Susan Lin, managing director of FTSE Russell in Taiwan, says the company plans to increase its staff strength on the island to 100 over the next year, from around 30 now.

Most of the current employees are with the fixed income team, and she says the new hiring will mostly be for the equities, sustainable investments, research, data, and analytics teams.

"Asia is a growth region for LSEG, and Taiwan has a strong talent pool. With the existing matured team, expanding the Taipei office becomes a natural decision," Ms. Lin says in an interview with Asia Asset Management.

She says the goal is to serve local demand, and to support demand from other countries in Asia and beyond.

"We also plan to grow our customer facing teams in business centres like Singapore and Tokyo as part of our regional strategy,” she adds.

According to Ms. Lin, Asian institutional investors such as insurance companies are showing growing interest in fixed income exchange-traded funds, while pension funds in the region are becoming more attracted to sustainable investments.

"The demand for better, more sophisticated benchmark products is growing, and we need to be able to meet this growing demand," she says.