Perpetual Ltd., Sydney, hired Thornburg Investment Management to run a mandate for the financial services firm in multisector opportunistic bonds.
Jason Brady, Santa Fe, N.M.-based Thornburg's president and CEO, said in an interview Perpetual has invested in Thornburg's multisector opportunistic bond strategy, which Mr. Brady co-manages, tapping both separate account and mutual fund vehicles for different segments of Perpetual's business.
A spokeswoman for Perpetual confirmed the mandate but, together with Mr. Brady, declined to provide details on the scale of its investment in Thornburg's bond strategy. A spokeswoman for Thornburg said the firm's multisector opportunistic bond strategy has roughly $2 billion in assets.
Mr. Brady said the Perpetual mandate is Thornburg's first from an Australian client. After working over the past 18 months with Melbourne-based third-party placement agent Terrain Placement Services, Thornburg has "a very good pipeline" of opportunities in Australia, he added.
He called Thornburg's partnership with Perpetual — with discussions ongoing now regarding other Thornburg income-generation strategies — a product of the more structured, systematic approach the firm adopted "not quite two years ago" to expand its footprint overseas.
The Hong Kong office Thornburg opened roughly a year ago — with three employees joining two in London and two more in the U.S. focused on overseas markets — is working to build "a pipeline in greater China, as well as in ASEAN," Mr. Brady said, referring to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Succeeding in greater China, in particular, will require that Thornburg play the "long game" there, he acknowledged.
The firm's 2020 sales budget for the Asia-Pacific region is on the order of several hundred million dollars but the longer-term plan is to have "15% of our assets" coming from clients outside the U.S. five years from now, Mr. Brady said.
At the end of 2019, Thornburg was managing just less than $1 billion for clients outside of the U.S., or a little bit more than 2% of its $44 billion book of business — $42.6 billion in assets under management and $1.5 billion in assets under advisement, according to a Thornburg news release.
Partnerships — including subadvisory relationships with local money managers overseas — will be a cornerstone of Thornburg's international strategy, and more efficient than establishing joint ventures or wholly owned subsidiaries in those markets, Mr. Brady said.