The region's fund distribution industry is one of the most competitive in the world.
We believe singling out the top performers based on independent, data-driven criteria can provide a fund house with a valuable distinction among its peers and help distributors to get consumer support.
The awards are particularly relevant because FSA has included Asia-based fund selectors as part of the judging process.
How it’s done
FSA’s awards are based on quantitative data from FE Analytics. The best performers across 15 categories were filtered out to create two shortlists – one for Hong Kong and a separate one for Singapore.
(In Hong Kong, funds have to be registered for retail sale to be eligible. In Singapore, funds with "Accredited Investor" at minimum status are eligible).
To build the shortlists, FE used its Crown Rating system, which rates funds using three separate tests: alpha, volatility and consistency.
“We looked at risk-adjusted performance over multiple time periods,” said Hon Wah Choi, FE’s business development director in Asia.
“The methodology for the shortlists is 100% quantitative and it’s an apples-to-apples comparison.”
The question for fund selector judges
The shortlists were then given to independent panels of well-known professionals from Asia’s fund selector community in Hong Kong and in Singapore.
FSA provided only one question to guide them, and it was forward-looking:
Given this list, which fund within each asset class do you think will perform best over the next 12 months?
The judges' selections will determine the winners (Platinum and Gold). Hong Kong winners will be revealed in January and, for Singapore, in early February.
Asia fund trends
After compiling the shortlists, the team at FE Analytics noticed a few trends that give a snapshot of the regional fund landscape.
Choi mentioned the appearance of some China boutique funds on the shortlist in the China category, suggesting a smaller firm holding the right expertise can indeed sit on the same tier as the global giants.
“However, there’s an absence of mainland-based fund managers. They haven’t yet demonstrated consistent performance,” Choi added.
“This year we also noticed quite a few funds in the high dividend and small cap categories,” he said. “That indicates investor demand for income and in the case of small caps, for risk.”
Is your fund on the shortlist?
As a prelude to the announcement of the winners, FSA will be publishing the shortlists in the coming days. Keep an eye on fundselectorasia.com