Providing Investment Solutions for Every Generation of Investors Across Asia
We are committed to make investing simpler, smarter and safer for our clients. In 2018, we enhanced UOBAM Invest, Singapore’s first digital advisory service for corporate investors and rolled out first-in-market customised digital investment portfolios. Offered through the Digital Adviser feature within UOBAM Invest, our customised portfolios are based on companies’ combined investment goals, investment horizons and risk profiles. Corporate investors can also choose to use UOBAM Invest’s Fund Direct feature to build and to manage their own investment portfolio of UOBAM-managed funds. UOBAM Invest offers all corporate investors in Singapore user-friendly, easily accessible and flexible digital investment services.
Through UOBAM Invest, we offer first-in-market customised digital investment portfolios for corporate investors.
We took feedback from our clients and stakeholders in 2018 and revamped our Singapore website to enhance the user experience. Developed in collaboration with Morningstar, the improved website provides real-time price information on our funds as well as our market and investment insights.
As a signatory to the Singapore Stewardship Principles for Responsible Investors, we also stepped up our responsible investing efforts during the year. We have begun incorporating ESG considerations into our screening of Asian and Singapore bonds, and investment-grade US corporate bonds, in addition to our active investment research and evaluation processes for equities.
Our impact investing strategy is centred on the research and identification of companies that can contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, such as those committed to creating innovative sustainable products to reduce consumption and waste.
Our efforts in responsible investing were recognised by Fukoku Capital Management, a Japanese insurance investment manager, through the appointment of UOBAM as their investment adviser and to provide advice on and evaluation of ESG investment criteria for their Asia (excluding Japan) ESG equity investment strategy.
To provide investment solutions that meet the needs of different investors across Asia, we continued to expand our product offering with the launch of 10 new funds in 2018. In Singapore, the United Asia Pacific Diversified Strategies Fund is UOBAM’s first fund offering retail investors access to alternative investments. This is an asset class designed to provide better long-term risk-adjusted returns and to provide capital appreciation through periods of market volatility. Sub-managed by UOBAM’s subsidiary, UOB Alternative Investment Management (UOBAIM), the United Asia Pacific Diversified Strategies Fund is also the first daily liquidity alternative investment fund in Singapore with a focus on Asia Pacific.
Retail and institutional investors in Singapore can also invest their short-term surplus funds in the United SGD Money Market Fund. Through investing in high-quality bonds, it aims to provide returns comparable with Singapore dollar short-term deposits while offering liquidity. As part of UOBAM’s responsible investing efforts, the United SGD Money Market Fund does not invest in bonds from companies in sectors such as gambling, alcohol and tobacco.
We also launched in Brunei our flagship fixed income fund, the United SGD Fund, in conjunction with the fund’s 20th anniversary. With a low-risk profile and offering stable returns, the fund is suited to retail and institutional investors seeking regular returns. The United SGD Fund is one of the largest fixed income funds in Singapore, with its AUM crossing the $1 billion milestone in 2018.
In Malaysia, our new United Global Emerging Markets Opportunity Fund helps sophisticated investors to ride on the long-term growth of global emerging markets and to gain long-term capital appreciation through an actively-managed, high conviction approach to stock selection. In Taiwan, we launched our first balanced fund, the UOB Taiwan Balanced Income Fund, that invests primarily in the preferred shares of Taiwanese financial holding companies, high dividend stocks, fixed income exchange-traded funds and Taiwan government bonds.
In Thailand we launched five new funds, including the United Global Innovation Fund for retail and institutional investors seeking exposure to companies that drive and benefit from innovation. The fund invests in businesses that create innovative technologies, processes, products or services to remain competitive and to capture a larger market share in their industry.
Our efforts and achievements received industry-wide recognition across the region in 2018. In Singapore, we were named Best Asset Management Firm and Best Asia Fixed Income House, while UOBAIM received the Best Alternative Investment Fund Management Company award at International Finance’s Financial Awards 2018. We also won the Best of the Best Performance award for Asian Bonds (10 Years) at the Asia Asset Management Best of the Best Awards for the third consecutive year.
UOBAM continued to receive industry-wide recognition in 2018.
During the year, our funds, such as the United Asian High Yield Bond Fund, the United SGD Fund and the United Asian Bond Fund, continued to receive various industry awards, while our Asia fixed income team’s expertise was also recognised with the Manager of the Year award at the Benchmark Fund of the Year Awards 2018 for the second consecutive time.
In Thailand, we were named the Best for Asset Management at the Euromoney Private Banking and Wealth Management Survey 2018, while our United Income Focus Fund-A won the Best Fund Award at the Money & Banking Awards 2018.