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Willie Watt, chief executive of Martin Currie

APS and Martin Currie announce long-term strategic partnership in China


Martin Currie and APS Asset Management are to enter into a strategic partnership to form the world’s leading independent China ‘A’ share and greater China active equity management business. Completion is expected by the end of September, subject to regulatory approval.


The partnership will see the two renowned China specialists combining their strength to manage investments in the world’s fastest growing, exciting and yet complex markets. By partnering with APS, existing Martin Currie client portfolios will be able to draw on the proven and experienced capabilities of the APS China investment team. APS is the only foreign investment management firm which has research teams across three different cities in China supporting their market leading China ‘A’ share strategy. APS will leverage Martin Currie’s strong distribution platform and client management capabilities, as well as commence portfolio management for Martin Currie’s clients from 1 November 2011. Martin Currie will then also become the primary distributor of APS’s products worldwide through its network of offices in Europe, US and Asia. The alliance will significantly benefit clients of both companies.

Martin Currie has been active in China since 1994 and was amongst the very first foreign institutions to be awarded a QFII license in 2005. APS was founded in 1995 and is a fully licensed and regulated specialist Asia Pacific equity investment manager who has won many prestigious awards.

Commenting on this landmark agreement, Willie Watt chief executive at Martin Currie says: “We have been investing in China for almost two decades and have built up a valuable network of relationships and a deep body of expertise and knowledge. This new partnership will allow us to further strengthen our overall offering by partnering with one of the most highly regarded specialists in Chinese equities.

"APS has a robust investment philosophy and process which complements that of Martin Currie, as well as an outstanding long-term performance record and reputation. In addition they continue to invest heavily in their analytical base and have offices across the region including in Shanghai, Shenzhen and Beijing. We are absolutely delighted to be working with them.”

Wong Kok Hoi CIO and Chairman at APS, says: “Competition in our line of business is intensifying. Hence, instead of competing with one of the industry giants, I decided it is more sensible in the long-term to pool resources with Martin Currie in building a highly competitive China team. Forming this alliance would have been unthinkable for our two strongly independent-minded firms some years ago. However, the pressing need today to build a successful investment firm of unquestioned quality makes it an enticing idea.

"The realisation of such an ambition obviously calls for deep financial resources and enduring commitment. For this reason, it is logical for both firms to join forces in making this unusual and bold long-term decision. Not only does it make sense to its owners and staff, but it also makes great sense to clients of APS and Martin Currie. If anything, in our business, a strong investment team is beneficial to all its stakeholders. Within weeks, we will be strengthening our investment teams in Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen and Singapore offices. We are as excited as Martin Currie about building the pre-eminent China asset management company.”

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