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Middle East Awards 2013: Regional Awards
20 November 2013
Global Investor/ISF announced the regional winners of its Middle East Awards - from asset management to exchanges and fund administration - in Qatar on 30 October 2013
LOCAL ASSET MANAGER: NBAD Asset Management Group
|Since the start of 2013, NBAD’s Asset Management Group has managed to buck industry trends and added assets under management (AuM) in excess of $681m at a time when other managers were losing assets. |
Total AuMs now stand at over $2bn as of July 31 2013. Wins have been seen on multiple fronts with fixed income, equities, multi manager and hedge funds all participating to offer a well-diversified portfolio.
NBAD has a proud history of innovation in the asset management arena going back over a decade. What is particularly notable about this increase in assets under management is that the all of the inflows have been into
NBAD-owned and managed products, relyrange of offerings provides investors with attractive risk-adjusted returns through exposure to a diversified range of offerings. In addition it has introduced three global asset allocation funds, which act as the investment engine for the firm’s recently launched initiative of providing pension schemes for expats, written into trust to protect their assets.
NBAD has bold expansion plans and will be adding further asset classes over the coming months and expects to introduce some exciting initiatives over the coming months.
Against a backdrop of weak markets and many asset managers downsizing or closing, it believes that this long term commitment to continue to devote such significant resources to analysing and managing investments sets it apart and continues to give its investors comfort.
INTERNATIONAL ASSET MANAGER: ING Investment Management Middle East
ING Investment Management (ING IM) Middle East was one of the first global asset managers to have a fullfledged office in the United Arab Emirates. The firm has two objectives; attracting global investments into various Middle East sectors through the local equity markets; and providing regional clients with the opportunity to invest through ING IM’s global investment platform, whilst providing top class service to its clients.
Since its inception in 2008, ING IM Middle East has grown to almost $2bn assets under management, with approximately $400m in Mena equities and the rest international, and this is during a period of crisis in various regions and markets.
Fadi Al Said, head of investments, says the firm has quickly become one of the most well-known and respected asset managers in the Mena region and can feel proud of what it has achieved. “From the onset, it has not been a normal five years, all the risks you dreamed of materialised both financially and politically, from the financial and euro crises, a real estate boom and slump and the Arab Spring. Going from zero to $2bn of assets in very difficult market conditions is testament to our success.”
The firm’s key competitive advantages are summed up by the local presence it maintains in the region and global standards which it follows in managing its funds, with compliance and risk remaining a core priority.
ING IM Middle East has been successful in raising assets since inception and has also been successful in managing a Luxembourg-domiciled fund, the ING (L) Invest Middle East and North Africa Equity Fund. This flagship fund is categorised in the first quartile for performance, since inception, against its peer group.
The fund has won a number of international and local awards, most notably the Bronze analyst rating by Morningstar and previously for two consecutive years the double-A rating by Standard & Poor’s Capital IQ.
ING IM Middle East has an experienced team of investment professionals, with indepth knowledge and experience across various asset classes in the Middle East and North Africa region. ING Group was one of the first global financial institutions with a regional asset management team based in Dubai.
The asset manager offers in-house, tailor- made innovative global solutions through the ING Group platform of global products it has a successful team track record in managing regional funds and portfolios in the region.
ING IM has positioned itself as a leading international asset manager in the Middle East with a long-term commitment to the growth of the region. It has developed a strong and consistent track record in regional equities over a five-year period and continues to strengthen and develop relationships across various segments.
The investment team is well positioned to attract the interest of investors looking to expand their allocation to the Mena and frontier equity markets.
EQUITY MANAGER: Jadwa Investment
For the fifth consecutive year, Jadwa Investment’s three flagship funds were amongst the top three performers in their respective categories, with Jadwa Saudi Equity Fund and Jadwa Arab Markets Equity Fund the best performing funds in 2012 amongst their peers.
Looking at specific monthly performance, during March the Jadwa Saudi Equity Fund saw a strong upturn supported by the Saudi economy’s strong fundamentals and the government’s sizeable spending plans. The fund gained 7.33% as compared to an increase of 2.99% in the benchmark and by the end of March had generated a return of 106.06% since inception, outperforming its benchmark by 69.22%.
The Jadwa GCC Equity Fund outper- Emirates NBD Asset Management (ENBD AM) is one of the strongest regional asset management companies in Mena. The ENBD AM team runs three public funds, the Emirates Islamic Money Market Fund, the Emirates Global Sukuk Fund and the Emirates MENA Fixed Income Fund. It also runs a series of segregated accounts. Both the Emirates MENA Fixed Income Fund and the Emirates Global Sukuk Fund were awarded Silver grading by Standard & Poor’s (S&P) in its recent review.
The Emirates MENA Fixed Income Fund is the only S&P graded fund in the Mena formed its benchmark during March as all GCC markets - with the exception of both Dubai and Abu Dhabi markets which went into a correction phase - rallied led by the heavyweight Saudi market. During the month, the fund gained 6.92% as compared to a gain of 2.25% in the benchmark. By March end, the fund has generated a return of 76.85% since inception, outperforming its benchmark by 75.86%.
The Jadwa Arab Markets Equity Fund also gained in March, despite the Egyptian market being hit hard by political tensions and fears of further currency depreciation. The fund gained 6.72% as compared to a gain of 2.14% in the benchmark and by the end of the month had generated a return of 65.36% since inception, outperforming its benchmark by 64.69%.
The firm has seven public equity funds: Jadwa Saudi Equity Fund; Jadwa GCC Equity Fund; Jadwa Arab Markets Equity Fund; Jadwa Saudi Equity Index Fund; Jadwa GCC Equity Index Fund; Jadwa Saudi Riyal Murabaha Fund; and Jadwa Global Sukuk Fund.
Jadwa Investment’s nine private equity finds are Jadwa Co-investment Fund (Saudi Lube Oil); Jadwa Food and Beverage Opportunity Fund; CIT Jadwa UK Special Opportunities Fund; Jadwa Technology Special Opportunity Fund; Jadwa Building Material Opportunity Fund; Kings Reach Tower; Jadwa Healthcare Opportunities Fund; Jadwa Tourism and Hospitality Opportunity Fund; and Jadwa Al Argan Saudi Residential Development Fund.
Between July 31 2012 and July 31 2013, Jadwa Saudi Equity Fund returned 35% compared to 18.83% by its benchmark, the S&P Saudi Arabia Shariah Index. Jadwa GCC Equity Fund returned 36% compared to the S&P GCC Composite Shariah (20%) and Jadwa Arab Markets Equity Fund returned 31% (19% for S&P Pan Arab Composite Shariah
FIXED INCOME MANAGER: Emirates NBD Asset Management
Emirates NBD Asset Management (ENBD AM) is one of the strongest regional asset management companies in Mena. The ENBD AM team runs three public funds, the Emirates Islamic Money Market Fund, the Emirates Global Sukuk Fund and the Emirates MENA Fixed Income Fund. It also runs a series of segregated accounts. Both the Emirates MENA Fixed Income Fund and the Emirates Global Sukuk Fund were awarded Silver grading by Standard & Poor’s (S&P) in its recent review.
The Emirates MENA Fixed Income Fund is the only S&P graded fund in the Mena fixed income space. It is $190m in size, with daily liquidity and offers share classes in US dollar, sterling and Abu Dhabi dirham. The Emirates Global Sukuk Fund and the Emirates Islamic Money Market Funds are $125m and $97m in size respectively and are also traded daily with multi-currency share class options.
The Emirates MENA Fixed Income Fund outperformed its benchmark by 3.43% in 2012 to return 15.23% and is flat year-todate (YTD August 1), an outperformance of 0.85%. The fund paid a dividend of 5% in 2012 that is paid semi-annually on the income share class and has announced a dividend of 2.5% for the first half of 2013.
The Emirates Global Sukuk Fund outperformed its benchmark to return 10.64% and has returned 0.28% YTD, an outperformance of 0.29%. The fund paid a dividend of 4.4% in 2012 and has announced a dividend of 2% for the first half of 2013.
The Emirates Islamic Money Market Fund outperformed its benchmark by 0.19% in 2012 to return 1.16% and has returned 0.44% YTD, an outperformance of 0.42%. It was ranked in the top quartile relative to performance in 2012.
ENBD AM has a dedicated fixed income desk led by the head of fixed income, who is supported by a dedicated team, and is also able to draw on the support of a specialist team of Mena equity analysts and a performance analyst. The funds are based offshore in Jersey, but are managed by a team based in Dubai.
The team’s capabilities cover the full spectrum of fixed income markets from short dated cash through to longer term fixed income and covers both regional and global opportunities. The team has a truly active management approach to fixed income, managing duration and seeking value opportunities from across the yield curve in sovereign and credit securities. It also has deep experience of the regional money market and fixed income space.
SHARIA FUND: Jadwa Investment
Jadwa Investment is an investment bank rooted in Islamic values and committed to providing customised, sharia-based financial solutions approved by an independent sharia supervisory board for high net worth individuals, family offices and institutions. Its mission is to set a new standard in Islamic investment banking delivered by focused and highly-qualified team of experts who share a common set of values and goals and driven by a passion to deliver a unique experience for clients which guarantees long-term relationships.
Jadwa Investment’s team comprises of highly experienced professionals who have proven track records in their respective areas. Specifically, asset management team members have a track record of managing Saudi and regional public equities since 2002 and have 125- plus years of cumulative experience and include six CFA charter holders.
The team has shown strong performance and has been recognised for this performance through various awards. The asset management team consist of 23 members, 11 of whom are dedicated to portfolio management and research.
What separates Jadwa Investment from its peers in the market is its extremely fast growth, which has made Jadwa Investment a market leader only seven years after the company’s inception. The landmark achievement was maintaining the investment management quality rating of MQ2 assigned to Jadwa Asset Management by Moody’s Investors Service for the second year in a row.
In relation to AuMs, Jadwa Asset Management ranks sixth among other players in the market (including the bank-backed investment companies), reaching SAR13.3bn in June 2013. When comparing AuMs of non-bank institutions, Jadwa ranks first.
The firm has seven public equity funds (Jadwa Saudi Equity Fund; Jadwa GCC Equity Fund; Jadwa Arab Markets Equity Fund; Jadwa Saudi Equity Index Fund; Jadwa GCC Equity Index Fund; Jadwa Saudi Riyal Murabaha Fund; and Jadwa Global Sukuk Fund). Jadwa Investment’s nine private equity finds are Jadwa Co-investment Fund (Saudi Lube Oil); Jadwa Food and Beverage Opportunity Fund; CIT Jadwa UK Special Opportunities Fund; Jadwa Technology Special Opportunity Fund; Jadwa Building Material Opportunity Fund; Kings Reach Tower; Jadwa Healthcare Opportunities Fund; Jadwa Tourism and Hospitality Opportunity Fund; and Jadwa Al Argan Saudi Residential Development Fund.
SUKUK MANAGER: Al Rayan Investment
Al Rayan Investment has built a niche with institutional investors, such as pension funds, insurance companies, sovereign wealth funds and corporates, but also has a strong profile with retail clients.
Over the last year, assets have grown through the expansion of existing mandates and new wins after referral from current institutional investors, which is a clear demonstration of service quality. Awarded mandates have reached $555m, representing growth of 36% over the last 12 months and an increase of 170% over the last two years.
During the past 12 months, Al Rayan Investment won another sukuk segregated mandate, taking the total number to three. The firm’s disciplined, fundamental-driven investment approach with a longer term investment horizon has enabled superior performance. On average, investment grade sukuk portfolios returned 4% over the last 12 months, 140bp more than the HSBC GCC Sukuk Total Return index that only posted 2.6% returns.
Primary research is the backbone of its decision-making process. The fund manager is fully aware that regional sell-side research is still developing, thus Al Rayan Investment has established quality inhouse research capability to identify big picture trends and drill down to individual opportunities.
Apart from management of a target company, Al Rayan Investment seeks to meet suppliers, customers and competitors and has conducted 111 calls or meetings over the last 12 months.
Backed by research strength, Al Rayan Investment does not hide behind index benchmarks and is focused on absolute return. Security selection is critical to alpha generation, which is demonstrated in its performance data. The firm limits holdings in a portfolio and keeps churn relatively low.
Al Rayan Investment has carefully built a team with rich regional and global expertise. Asset management is led by Akber Khan, who has been recognised as one of the most influential, innovative and powerful figures in the Mena asset management industry.
The firm has developed pioneering sukuk capability in its home market: Until very recently, Al Rayan Investment was the only asset manager in Qatar offering fixed income investment management services to institutional investors.
But the firm is not just a sukuk manager. Al Rayan Investment invests in sukuk and equities; the benefit of investing across the capital structure for sukuk investors comes from a more thorough knowledge of a company. In addition, the greater depth of understanding demanded by equity investing feeds through to more fundamentals- driven sukuk investments.
WEALTH MANAGER: NCB Capital
NCB Capital is the largest wealth manager in Saudi Arabia in terms of assets under management that reached SAR44.8bn at end December 2012; brokerage accounts, where the firm is in the top three by volume; number of qualified and internationallyaccredited wealth managers and number of clients that total more than one million high net-worth customers.
The firm is a global leader in Islamic mutual funds, managing the world’s largest sharia-compliant money market fund that stands at SAR15.3bn and is the market leader in Islamic mutual funds in Saudi Arabia, with SAR27.9bn under management in 26 funds as of January 2013.
NCB Capital is achieving growing international reach through a new Ucits platform and a new subsidiary fund launch has seen it take a leading role in the private equity market.
NCB Capital is one of the GCC’s largest providers of discretionary portfolio management services, the largest provider of corporate savings plans and an innovator in the provision of financial education to young people in the kingdom.
The firm offers clients access to other wealth management services, especially in private equity. For instance, Eastgate Capital Group, the firm’s private equity arm and one of the largest in the region, recently launched a new fund, the Eastgate SME Accelerator Fund, which will invest in small and medium-sized companies with high potential, primarily in Saudi Arabia.
NCB Capital has achieved its leadership position by focusing on three fundamentals: good people, strong products and relevant research. It has highly competent, internationally- accredited experts on the ground who know their clients well and are able to offer thoughtful portfolio advice with access to a strong set of funds and technologicallyadvanced brokerage services.
NCB Capital’s wealth management development programme was launched in 2011 and has now accredited 100 professional advisors. The programme is designed to cover technical enhancements to advisors’ knowledge and is endorsed by the UK’s Chartered Institute of Securities and Investments.
Another factor that differentiates NCB Capital from others in the region is its award-winning equity research team, which provides thoughtful advice and analysis to clients around the GCC. NCB Capital is also able to benefit from the strong geographic presence of parent, NCB, offering its services not only through online systems, but also through personal service in branches throughout the kingdom.
CASH MANAGER: Arab Bank
Over the past 12 months, Arab Bank has strengthened its cash management offering by providing new solutions, including SWIFT integration for corporates, direct debit collections and enhanced payroll management.
Corporate@Arabi, the bank’s online cash management solution, has continued to grow its customer base across the Middle East and North Africa (Mena). Key initiatives related to customer service were introduced during the year to ensure proper client awareness, including customer training and orientation sessions to improve regional activity in cash management solutions, while at the same time providing advanced solutions to domestic large companies as well as multinationals operating in the region.
Corporate@Arabi’s vast capabilities allow for the easier management of subsidiaries by accessing accounts using a single login within a single platform. This feature has attracted holding companies that operate in different parts of the world.
Arab Bank’s online cash management service and trade finance features multibank and multi-region access with a single login, while also allowing companies to manage their subsidiaries’ accounts using a single login within a single platform.
Additional products launches include rate negotiation, file services and file import and export, while straight through processing capabilities for direct collections and all types of transfers are available through the cash management platform, which gives the client real time execution of transaction and account balances.
Arab Bank’s unique suite of cash management products with a full range of corporate and institutional services allows clients to leverage its extensive presence with over 600 branches across 30 countries. Its coverage in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and Australasia make it the ideal partner for international businesses looking to operate within the Mena region, or Mena-based companies looking to expand within the region.
Operating in such a diverse region requires Arab Bank to be versatile in working with a varied customer base, while maintaining a state of the art product portfolio across its entire network irrespective of jurisdiction.
The bank’s cash management system provides a unique value proposition engineered specifically for the Mena region, including online/real time features, 24x7 availability and a specialised corporate service centre catering specifically to corporations.
Corporate commercial transactions - including the management of liquidity and cash payments in addition to the efficient handling of trade finance transactions - are a priority at Arab Bank. Its cash management offering also includes cross border account management in addition to a trade finance platform.