The Korea-based company describes itself as an Asian home-grown asset management firm with a global footprint. However, it is not easy for a home-grown asset management firm to develop global brand awareness, said Rhee.
“The regulatory framework in global markets, especially in Asia, is vastly fragmented,” Rhee told FSA.
“What works in one country may not be applicable to another. As a firm with ambition to expand internationally, we need to have a thorough understanding of financial regulations in different jurisdictions and be flexible in tailoring our business model to cater for regulatory requirements and domestic milieu.”
Rhee said it takes time for any company to build their brand awareness. “For us, there is no exception. We must market our products effectively so that investors have an interest in getting to know about us. It took us a few years to build our group’s brand awareness and garner investors’ interest in Korea.”
Mirae Asset Global Investments Group, the parent company of its Hong Kong unit, was established in 1997. Since then, it has set up offices in Asia, the US and Latin America. According to Rhee, half of the firm’s 600 staff are based in 11 countries outside Korea and its retail and wholesale products are distributed globally.
He added that the Hong Kong office plays a key role, serving as the manufacturing and distribution hub for the firm’s Luxembourg-domiciled SICAV funds.
The Hong Kong unit launched its first SICAV fund in 2008, and it oversees the SICAV distribution globally. “Currently, we have eight sales representatives to market our funds across the Asia-Pacific region, the Middle East and Europe.”
As of the end of May, the group’s assets under management amounted to $90bn, he said. About one-quarter of AUM comes from the retail channel, while 64% comes from the institutional channel.
The firm has two Asian flagship equity funds, the Mirae Asset Asia Sector Leader Equity Fund and the Mirae Asset Asia Great Consumer Equity Fund.
The three year performance versus their benchmark, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan Index: