Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

UBS Asset Management Secures Mainland China Fund License

  • UBS unit first qualified partner to obtain license in China
  • Allows bank to work closely with global firms’ Chinese units

UBS Asset Management has secured a private-funds license in China, allowing the investment unit to start managing money for mainland institutional and high-net-worth investors in Asia’s largest economy for the first time.

The firm’s local unit is the first so-called Qualified Domestic Limited Partner to be granted a license from the Asset Management Association of China, the money overseer said in a statement. It allows the affiliate to offer onshore fixed income, equity, and multi-asset private funds.

“China is a key growth market,” Ulrich Koerner, president of UBS Asset Management, said in the statement. “Our goal is to be a leading asset manager in China for both onshore and offshore investors and a strong partner” for clients there who invest overseas.

UBS is part of a growing list of foreign money managers looking to tap the lucrative Chinese market as the country accelerates plans to open up its capital markets to counter money outflows and promote global use of the yuan. Assets under management in mainland China rose by 36 percent to about $7.6 trillion last year, International Adviser reported in February citing data compiled by AMAC.

For UBS, the new license is the latest step by the money manager to access the Chinese market. In 2005, it entered into a joint venture with the State Development & Investment Corporation to offer onshore mutual funds and in 2011 established UBS Asset Management (China) Ltd. as a Wholly Foreign-Owned Enterprise to manage and advise on alternative investments.

The license means “we can provide a broad range of services to onshore and global clients,” said Rene Buehlmann, head of Asia Pacific at the asset manager. “It also allows us to work more closely with subsidiaries of global firms in China to meet their domestic investment needs.”

Among other firms, BNY Mellon Investment Management said last week it had received approval from Shanghai to set up an Wholly Foreign-Owned Enterprise. Vanguard Group Inc. and Fidelity International started similar enterprises earlier this year.

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