The Singapore authorities claim to be making rapid progress in their efforts to turn the island state into a global fund management centre. The news today that home-grown fund manager APS Asset Management has secured an US$80 million Asia ex-Japan mandate from the US$13 billion Fjrde AP-Fonden, the Fourth Swedish National Pension Fund (AP4).
This is the largest account APS, which was founded only eight years ago, has ever received from one single institution. However, APS has built a good reputation, being ranked by William Mercer in pole position among Asia ex-Japan equity managers for 1-, 2-, 3- and 5-year time periods. APS says its success hinges on a bottom-up approach which demands independent and robust research. The firm also has a strong team, headed as CIO by CEO Wong Kok Hoi.
Together with Fjrde AP-Fonden’s initial mandate of US$80 million and the recent appointments by Frank Russell to its Multi-Manager fund programme and by Essex County Council, a large UK local authority, APS now manages S$1.25 billion (US$700 million). Last year, Wong Kok Hoi likened being selected by Frank Russell for its Asia-Pacific Multi-Manager programmes to playing in the U.S. Masters.” The Fjrde AP-Fonden mandate, he says, is like “scoring an eagle .. But we have not won a major yet. To win a major, we have to practice more diligently at the driving range and straighten our drives, polish up our chipping skills and sink in more putts. Only then can we all look forward to our first major.”