Mirae Asset Global Investments, the asset management unit of Mirae Asset Financial Group, has been aggressively pushing for global expansion leaving its rivals far behind.
According to data from the Financial Supervisory Service, South Korea’s financial watchdog, only 27 companies out of 250 registered asset management companies in the country operate 52 overseas regional offices and branches as of end-March. Among them, Mirae Asset alone operates 12. The runners-up Samsung Asset Management and Assetplus Investment Management each have four overseas offices.
Mirae Asset has attained the top position among Korea firms due to a series of vigorous acquisitions in the past several years. In 2018 alone, it bought US ETF operator Global X and established a joint venture with Vietnam Investment Corp. In China, Mirae Asset’s Shanghai subsidiary was granted a private equity fund manager license, becoming the first Korean company to get it.
The company first built its overseas network in 2003 when it first set up a subsidiary in Hong Kong, which set up an offshore fund in Luxembourg in 2008 for the first time as a local asset manager. The Indian unit, which was established in 2006, currently serves as the only independent foreign capital operator.
In 2008, it established a US subsidiary and set up a dual operating system that researches Asian markets in Korea , American and European markets in the US. In 2011, it acquired Canadian ETF operator Horizon and Australia’s Beta Sharez, setting the stage for its growth as a global ETF operator.
Mirae Asset building in Pudong, Shanghai
Behind this push is the company’s strategic move to become a leader both in domestic and overseas markets.
While the majority firms focused only on domestic investments, Mirae Asset provided Korean investors with opportunities for overseas investments.
Mirae Asset has 158 trillion won ($131.6 billion) assets under management as of end-June and 45 percent of the AUM, or 4 percent, are invested in overseas markets.
Mirae Asset has grown to be the only operator among Korean AMCs that collects assets by directly selling funds overseas, with almost 300 funds set up and sold overseas.
This years-long efforts might be paying off. Mirae Asset’s overseas products have recently shown steep growth in sales overseas as they are starting to be recognized in the global market. More than 11 trillion won was added to the AUM via overseas branches last year.
“By entering new markets, the company can secure good assets and opportunities,” a Mirae Asset official said. “This allows the company to provide effective investment solutions to overcome the low interest rates and low growth situation for investors from home and abroad.”
By Park Ga-young (email@example.com)