AZ Athenaum, a joint venture established in 2013 between Italian asset manager Azimut Holding SpA and Singaporean fund manager Athenaeum, is set to bring a UCITS compatible catastrophe bond fund to investors in Singapore and South East Asia.
According to this article from Asian Investor magazine, AZ Athenaeum intends to bring a range of UCITS passported funds to Singapore to broaden the range of client offerings it has for accredited investors in the region. The range of funds being launched in Singapore include equities, bonds, sukuk investments and the catastrophe bond fund.
Azimut already operates a catastrophe bond fund in Italy, the AZ Cat Bond Fund, which has approximately €385m (around $490m) in cat bond assets under management.
The new cat bond fund offering that will be launched in Singapore is likely to be way for Asian investors to access the strategy through a fully UCITS passported structure.
AZ Athenaeum believes certain segments of the fund market are under served in the region and hopes that by bringing its approach to managing clients wealth, with a broad offering of fund opportunities it can capitalise on this.
This is also a sign of fund managers looking further afield for their next capital inflows. With Asia still growing in importance for the asset management industry, and investors becoming more aware of the portfolio benefits of insurance-linked securities (ILS), establishing a cat bond fund in the region at this time is a good marketing move.
With new UCITS passporting rules between Europe and Asia allowing funds to be marketed to investors there, despite not being as simple a process as some would like to see, other managers may look to broaden distribution to regional hubs such as Singapore in the future.