China Asset Management Co. Ltd. is looking to the role retirement savings played in buoying the U.S. fund market as a guide to how the Beijing-based fund management company should be positioning itself now.
When ChinaAMC was founded in 1998, the company's leadership team "studied the ... development paths of fund industries around the world," said Li Yimei, the Beijing-based firm's CEO.
The example of markets like the U.S., which grew with the tailwinds from pension developments, "gave us the confidence to build our company around pension investments," she said.
ChinaAMC has one of the largest books of retirement-related assets under management of any domestic fund management company, at 189 billion yuan ($27.9 billion) as of Dec. 31, or roughly 20% of the firm's total assets of 989 billion yuan.
Ms. Li said ChinaAMC's retirement total included 95 billion yuan managed on behalf of second-pillar supplementary corporate retirement plans, or enterprise annuities, giving it the top share among fund management companies in that 1.4 trillion yuan market for a 10th consecutive year.
The remainder of ChinaAMC's retirement assets come from the country's first-pillar basic public pension funds, China's National Social Security Fund and the "target-date pension fund-of-funds" strategies launched just last year as a private third pillar of the country's retire- ment safety net.
Ms. Li said ChinaAMC also managed 434 billion yuan in retail equity, bond and money market mutual funds as of Dec. 31, or more than twice the size of its retirement business.
Like many domestic fund management companies, money market funds account for more than half of ChinaAMC's fund assets but the company has a strong 95 billion yuan equity business and a 37 billion yuan aggressive allocation fund business as well, noted Claire Liang, a Shanghai-based manager research analyst with Morningstar Inc.
The rest of the firm's AUM — at more than 350 billion yuan — manages of non-retirement-related separate accounts for institutional and high-net-worth investors.