APG, China’s E Fund Management pursue strategic alliance

Chinese manager E Fund Management and Heerlen, Netherlands-based APG Asset Management have agreed to explore a strategic alliance, said a news release from E Fund.

In the news release, Sau Kwan, E Fund's president, cited potential synergies that could help the two money management firms while benefiting the broader investment management industry as well.

Ms. Kwan expressed hope that cooperative ties can yield “tangible results” in the near future.

She couldn't be reached immediately for further comment.

Harmen Geers, an APG spokesman, said in an e-mail that his firm began talks with Guangzhou-based E Fund about a year ago, convinced that teaming up with a local partner would leave APG better positioned to invest in China for its institutional clients as the mainland market opens to foreign investment.

Mr. Geers said APG will “share its knowledge and experience in asset-liability management and investing for pension funds” with E fund, against the backdrop of anticipated strong growth in China's pension market.

On its website, E Fund cites its retail base of more than 32 million investors as establishing its status as one of China's largest asset managers, with more than $140 billion in assets under management. But the firm also has institutional capabilities, managing money for big public funds, such as China's $289 billion National Council for Social Security Fund, as well as for corporate enterprise annuity retirement funds.

E Fund, meanwhile, “will share its knowledge of the onshore Chinese capital market … and grant us access to its technological developments and (technology) partners,” said Mr. Geers.

He noted that E Fund can boast cutting-edge capabilities globally in areas such as electronic distribution of information to participants and clients, robo-advice, machine learning and artificial intelligence.

The E Fund news release said APG oversees €424 billion ($471 billion) in pension assets.