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July 2024
AAM Magazine
July 2024
Back to 2023 Best of the Best Awards Supplement

Maintaining excellence through strategy and communications

By Goh Thean Eu   

Malaysia’s largest private unit trust company, Public Mutual, continues to display its excellence in when it bagged four awards during Asia Asset Management’s (AAM) Best of the Best Awards 2023. 

The four awards are Best Retail House – Malaysia, Islamic Retail House of the Year – Malaysia, Best Member Communications – Malaysia, and Best ASEAN Equity (3 Years). 

For Public Mutual Chief Executive Officer Chiang Kang Pey, the drivers behind the company’s success were its investment philosophy, and clear and regular communications with its investors and unit trust consultants.

“Our fundamental-based investment approach enabled our funds to ride through the challenging and volatile market conditions in 2022 to deliver commendable performances for the year,” Chiang tells AAM.

The year saw Public Mutual’s Public Islamic ASEAN Growth Fund winning the Best ASEAN Equity (3 Years) award. ASEAN is an acronym for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, an economic union of 10 member states in Southeast Asia. 

Chiang attributes the fund’s success to the company’s approach to fund management – which incorporates fundamental research and analysis with the objective of delivering consistent returns to unitholders over the long term.

“In terms of sector and country allocation, the Public Islamic ASEAN Growth Fund was selectively-positioned in the basic materials and energy sectors in the Indonesia market, which benefited from elevated commodity prices over the past two years and rising global demand for electric vehicles (EV) which has propelled the growth in EV battery supply chains.

“The performance of the Public Islamic ASEAN Growth Fund was also bolstered by its selected investments in tourism-related sectors in Thailand which benefited from the re-opening of international borders and the revival of tourism activities in the country,” Chiang says.

He adds that the ASEAN equity markets are expected to remain supported by their relatively resilient domestic economies, as well as the continued recovery of in-bound tourist activities in selected ASEAN countries, such as Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia.

“As the valuations for the majority of the ASEAN equity markets are still below their long-term historical averages, this presents buying opportunities for our funds, especially for quality stocks with good fundamentals and long-term growth prospects at attractive valuations within the ASEAN region.”

In the eyes of industry players, it is not a big surprise to see Public Mutual winning the Best Retail House and Islamic Retail House of the Year in Malaysia – after all, the company is the largest private retail unit trust company in the country with over 40 years of investment management experience. 

“Our professional fund management team consists of 29 equity and fixed income fund managers and 33 research analysts covering the domestic, regional and global markets. We also prioritise investors’ needs in all our product and service offerings. We offer more than 170 unit trust funds and nine Private Retirement Scheme (PRS) funds that investors can choose from to suit their risk profile, investment objectives and investment horizon. 

“We also pursue continuous digital innovation to enhance our investors’ investing experience. Aside from that, we have more than 30,000 unit trust consultants nationwide to attend to our investors’ investment needs, and are supported by 31 customer service centres nationwide,” Chiang says. 

While having a sound investment strategy is vital, Chiang believes that it is also important to have a good communication flow with investors and unit trust consultants. 

Chiang says the company communicates with its investors regularly to keep them updated on their investments and the latest products and services, while also enhancing their financial literacy. These communications are commonly done via the company’s website, social media pages, electronic direct mailers, as well as its in-house platform, Public Mutual Online (PMO), and the accompanying app, Pocket-PMO. 

“Our various channels of communication enable us to send accurate and well-meaning messages to investors, while at the same time educating them on the correct ways to invest and identify scams, alongside other relevant information.

 “On top of all that, our priority customers are also kept up-to-date with information such as the latest market news, fund performances and financial planning tips through our dedicated monthly publications, Calibre and Feng, which are made available to them via PMO and Pocket-PMO,” he said.