The UK’s position as a global asset management centre attracts Japan’s financial sector.
From 3 – 5 February 2014, UK Trade & Investment Japan hosted an Asset Management Trade Mission and Seminar at the British Embassy Tokyo.
Export to Japan was there to catch up with some of the key speakers and delegates to hear what they had to say about UK expertise in this field, as well as the opportunities the Japanese market hosts for UK Asset Management companies.
Japanese fund managers and financial sector representatives filled the British Embassy in Tokyo to capacity for a UK Asset Management seminar with over 100 people attending.
The event was organised by UK Trade & Investment to showcase the benefits of the UK for asset management and to promote the potential for collaboration between UK and Japanese companies. UK companies from across the sector gave presentations on their products and services, followed by an interactive Q&A session and a networking reception.
It was the 4th of such seminars to date, which so far has brought 18 new companies to the market and is part of a wider Mission, including events at the British Consulate General in Osaka.
HM Ambassador to Japan Tim Hitchens welcomed the UK delegates and praised the Japanese companies for their enthusiasm in UK Asset Management.
“It is great to have a suppportive financial sevices and investment community to welcome people we help to bring over from the UK”, he said. “The UK government and fund managers present look forward to working with everyone to make the transition from savings to investment a reality.”
He finished by offering a toast for a succesful financial sector in both Japan and the UK.
UK Asset Management
With its prominent role in the European marketplace and funds which are some of the most tax efficient in Europe, the UK is a respected global management centre.
Keynote speaker Julie Paterson of the Investment Management Association outlined the well-deserved high reputation of the UK for asset management.
“The UK is a fund domicile of choice,” she said.
Japan has one of the largest financial services markets in the world and is home to some of the world’s largest financial institutions. With high volumes of personal wealth amounting to more than £10 trillion it is a huge market for UK companies.
An ageing population also means many mature pension funds and large numbers of people over 60 who prospered during the ‘bubble’ years and have high levels of disposable income to invest.
Keith Kelsall of Aviva Investors spoke on how the Japanese are looking at ways they can invest this wealth into the global market.
“Japan will be looking to the expertise that we have in the UK for how you can get more investments, more return on your investments and more diversification”, he said.
Japan & the UK
Japan and the UK have a well-established and key strategic relationship with political, trade and social ties.
Speakers at the event also pointed out how operational similarities in the financial sector could mean huge potential for UK companies in Japan.
Speaking after the event, David Henderson of Baille Gifford Overseas Limited which has had institutional clients in Japan since 1989 reinforced this idea:
“If you can do business in the UK, you can do business in Japan”.
UKTI Japan’s Senior Trade Advisor for Financial & Business Services, Naomi Takegoshi, was delighted at the interest from the Japanese financial industry, including big corporate pension funds of household names like Bridgestone, KDDI and Nissan.
“We have such a great audience,” she said. “We want more British companies to take advantage of that”.
Presenter Neil Servis of Serone Capital Management LLP was grateful for the opportunity UKTI provided by hosting the event.
“It gives us a lot of credibility and a really good chance to meet a lot of investors in one go and present our ideas in a pretty efficient manner,” he said.
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