Amundi Widens in China as Beijing further Starts Asset Management

Amundi, which is the largest asset manager in Europe, rolled out a wealth management venture in Shanghai on Wednesday. The company is also planning to set up an outbound investment business in Beijing as China, wide opens its doors to global asset managers.

Capitalizing on Latest Rounds

The French company, which already has a mutual fund venture in China, is capitalizing on the latest round of financial opening by Beijing that also galvanized other global asset managers such as BlackRock.

“You don’t have a single market in the world where you see global asset managers are positioning themselves so proactively, and so resourcefully,” said Xiaofeng Zhong, Amundi’s CEO for North Asia.

The opening ceremony held on Wednesday for Amundi BOC Wealth Management Co in Shanghai registers the birth of China’s first foreign-controlled wealth management venture. Amundi owns 55% of the business, and a unit of Bank of China owns the remaining 45%.

Last July, China enabled foreign asset managers to form majority-owned wealth management ventures with local banks, wide opening a market that fund consultancy Z-Ben Advisors estimates will more than double to 57 trillion yuan ($8.37 trillion) in ten years.

“Just following the natural trend is creating a lot of favorable wind,” said Julien Fontaine, Amundi’s Head of Partnerships.

Growing the Portfolio!

The new venture, which integrates Amundi’s proprietary portfolio management system and risk-management expertise with Bank of China’s nationwide networks and huge client base, focuses on launching its first product at the end of the year.

Last month, U.S. asset manager BlackRock Inc bagged in Chinese regulatory approval to set up a wealth management venture with Temasek Holdings and China Construction Bank.

Amundi has captured a quota of $300 million under China’s outbound investment scheme QDLP and is going to set up a subsidiary in Beijing to support the Chinese invest abroad.

Amundi’s Zhong said Chinese banks require foreign support to grow their investment capability in the times of structural reform of the asset management industry.

“By participating in the process, we grow our portfolio and our assets as well.”