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OUTFLOWS: Ashmore Group Struggles in Current Environment

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London-based Ashmore Group plc, an asset manager with a heavy focus on emerging markets, has reported a 10.7% loss in assets under management (AUM) from September 30, 2014 to December 31, 2014. The asset manager took a loss amongst all themes, with their alternatives strategy taking the largest hit at 41% loss in assets under management. However, the loss in alternatives was significantly influenced by the disposal of Ashmore’s interest in a Chinese real estate joint venture. In June 2010, Ashmore acquired a 39% stake in Everbright ALAM (renamed to Everbright Ashmore), a business focused on investing in Chinese real estate, from China Everbright Limited.

The sell-off in emerging market stocks has perpetuated outflows for the fund manager.Ashmore CEO Mark Coombs commented on the recent outflows, “Weaker commodity prices, US dollar strength and increased price volatility impacted upon Emerging Markets during the quarter, although the diverse range of return opportunities in the asset class continued to show through.”

Ultimately, uncertainty over Federal Reserve rate increases have added to present anxiety among investors; however Coombs believes, “Emerging Markets’ fundamentals remain sound and previous uncertainties, such as election cycles, have abated.”

China’s Central Bank Creates Macro-Prudential Management Bureau

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The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) created a new department to oversee and attempt to eliminate financial risks to the system. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Like its U.S. Peers, Legg Mason Seeks to Trim Costs

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Legg Mason Inc., a Baltimore-based asset manager, has announced a reduction in workforce as is prepares to streamline operations and save money. Legg Mason’s leadership commented that assets under management fell 5 % year-on-year. Legg Mason currently manages US$ 727.2 billion (as of December 31, 2018), which is down from the previous US$ 767.2 billion. CEO Joseph A. Sullivan noted that a global operating platform will centralize fund administration, IT, and other departments that work with affiliates. Sullivan did not discuss the number of layoffs expected, or specify which areas would be impacted. Legg Mason disclosed they planned to close a quarter of its exchange-traded funds in March 2019. These three ETFs include a U.S. strategy, emerging markets, and a developed markets strategy outside the U.S. However, these funds run around US$ 28 million in assets under management.

[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Monetary Authority of Singapore Establishes Corporate Governance Advisory Committee

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On February 12, 2019, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) revealed the creation of a Corporate Governance Advisory Committee (CGAC). CGAC was formed to advocate for good corporate governance practices among listed companies in Singapore. Bobby Chin, Director of Singapore Telecommunications Limited, will be the Chair of CGAC. According to a MAS press release, “CGAC will identify current and potential risks to the quality of corporate governance in Singapore.”

MAS formed the Corporate Governance Council (Council) in February 2017. The Council was dissolved after it pushed out a publication of its final recommendations on August 6, 2018.

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