Mirae Asset strengthens distribution in the Mena region

DubaiSeoul-headquartered Mirae Asset Global Investments Group is expanding its distribution strategy into the Middle East and North Africa, and has hired Jad Shams to the newly created role of head of sales for the region. Based in London, Shams will lead the business development and distribution of Mirae Asset’s Luxembourg-domiciled Mirae Asset Global Discovery Fund, a Sicav structure, into the Middle East. This cross-border range of mutual funds is registered in over 12 countries. Mirae Asset, which has $60.1 billion (€44.3 billion) of assets under management, says it aims to become one of the first Asian players to set up a distribution sales force dedicated to the investment community in the Middle East. Shams, who was previously a director with Natixis Global Asset Management in Dubai, will initially focus on the institutional and intermediary investor landscape across the region. Mirae Asset has both a multi-Asian local team base and a license under the renminbi qualified foreign institutional investor scheme. Tae Yong Lee, president, global business unit, at Mirae Asset Global Investments, told Funds Global Asia, Funds Europe’s sister publication, last year about his plans to market the brand beyond South Korea.  There have been some obstacles, though. The fund manager recently shelved plans to acquire a 70% stake in Jakarta-based NISP Asset Management. A spokesperson says the deal fell through because of “the timing and finding the right company that fits”, adding that the management is still looking for possible acquisitions. Apart from Mirae Asset, there are other asset managers eyeing the market in the Middle East. BOCHK Asset Management, for example, is among them. However, King Lun Au, chief executive officer, says he would rather not promote his brand to a wide investor base through the Ucits fund structure, and instead BOCHK Asset Management is working with a select few partners to provide white-labelling. ©2013 funds europe

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