Neuberger Berman Group garnered final approval from Chinese regulators to launch local currency mutual funds for domestic Chinese clients, the New York-based money manager announced Monday.
Neuberger becomes only the second global asset manager approved to begin mutual fund business operations in China, part of a regulatory opening by Beijing that should bring significant opportunities for local investors, said Patrick Liu, Shanghai-based general manager of Neuberger Berman Fund Management (China), in a news release.
BlackRock won final approval to launch mutual funds for local investors in June 2021. Meanwhile, other global firms — including J.P. Morgan Asset Management and Manulife Investment Management — are taking a different route to establishing wholly owned fund management companies by moving to buy out local joint venture partners.
JPMAM reached an agreement with Shanghai International Trust Co. in April 2020 to buy the 49% stake in China International Fund Management Co. that JPMAM doesn't own from SITCO and is working to get the final regulatory approval needed to close the deal, a JPMAM spokeswoman said. Earlier in November, Manulife said it received approval from Beijing to acquire the 51% of Manulife TEDA Fund Management Co. it doesn't own from JV partner Tianjin TEDA International Holding.
Neuberger's news release said Michelle Wei, who joined the firm in Shanghai in October as a managing director focused on investment strategy, will assume the role of deputy general manager and chief investment officer of equities in 2023 of the fund management company, overseeing asset allocation and risk management across the firm's equity portfolios.
Ms. Wei was assistant general manager and head of research and portfolio management came at Everbright PGIM Fund Management, a joint venture of PGIM and Everbright Securities.
Elsewhere, Charles Nguyen, Neuberger's New York-based managing director, public equities ESG investing, will be relocating to Shanghai to lead the firm's ESG efforts across Asia, the news release said.
Neuberger Berman reported $418 billion in assets under management as of June 30.