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Money Management

Natixis Global Asset Management aims to double Asia-Pacific AUM by 2020

Natixis Global Asset Management will look to double the weight of Asia-Pacific-based clients in its global business over the next three years.

Fabrice Chemouny, the 17-year Natixis veteran who took on the head of Asia-Pacific role at the firm last month, said solid recent growth for affiliates such as Loomis, Sayles & Co. and Harris Associates has lifted assets under management on behalf of clients in the region to roughly $50 billion, or 5% of Natixis' $951.7 billion in total AUM as of June 30.

Mr. Chemouny said in an interview Monday that it is the firm's ambition now to accelerate that growth, targeting 10% of total assets from Asia-Pacific-based clients by the end of 2020 via acquisitions, organic growth and new distribution partnerships with insurers and private banks in the region.

On Oct. 3, Natixis, which boasts majority stakes in more than 20 Europe- and U.S.-based investment affiliates, announced its first planned acquisition in the region — an agreement to buy a 51.9% stake in Investors Mutual, an Australian equity boutique with A$9 billion ($7 billion) in AUM.

Mr. Chemouny, while declining to predict what portion of that targeted addition of $50 billion in AUM from clients in the region is likely to come from organic growth, said his team is actively scouring the region now for further acquisitions of high-conviction, alpha-oriented asset management firms or investment teams.

The region's dynamic economic growth, and the inevitable rise of investor demand for exposure to the stocks and bonds of Asia-based companies, are driving the firm's efforts to beef up its Asia-Pacific presence, Mr. Chemouny said. There'll be "more and more appetite for Asian equities and fixed income," both from local investors as well as those based in Europe and the U.S., he said.

And especially in the current low-yield environment, that should mean strong demand for private markets investments — another area of focus for potential acquisitions, he said.