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Aberdeen's China unit gets nod to provide advisory services

By Asia Asset Management  
Jul 5, 2019

Scottish asset manager Aberdeen Standard Investments’ China unit has been approved to offer investment advisory services to investors in the Mainland.

Aberdeen Standard Asset Management (Shanghai) is the fourth wholly foreign-owned enterprise or WFOE to get the go-ahead from the Asset Management Association of China (AMAC), the official industry group.

According to Ian Macdonald, deputy head of Asia Pacific at Aberdeen Standard Investments, the move “marks a significant step in further growing our China business”.

“Building on our deep insights and investment strength across asset classes, a robust risk management platform and strong governance framework, we are dedicated to delivering diverse propositions to onshore investors and contributing to the development of the asset management industry in China,” he says in a statement on July 3.

The WFOEs of Singapore’s Fullerton Fund Management and US asset manager Neuberger Berman were the first to be approved to provide advisory services in China this March. New York-based BlackRock Inc, the world’s largest asset manager, received the green light last month.

The approval for Aberdeen Standard Asset Management (Shanghai) comes almost two years after it was registered as a private fund management or PFM company with AMAC, allowing it to launch onshore private funds for Chinese institutional and high-net-worth investors.

The wholly-owned units of foreign asset managers are required to have the private fund manager qualification before they can apply to offer investment advisory services.

AMAC registered the first batch of foreign private fund management firms in 2016.

There are now 19 of these companies, which have launched 38 private funds with 5.2 billion RMB (US$751 million) of total assets under management, according to figures from China Securities Regulatory Commission.

Aberdeen Standard Investments’ China unit launched its onshore fund in May 2018, six months after it was approved as a private fund manager.

Edinburgh-based Aberdeen Standard Investments had around $643 billion of total assets at the end of 2018.