* Seeking gains from investor flight from inflation
* Highlights credit, alternatives
By Cecilia Valente
MONACO, June 29 Scandinavian group Nordea's
funds unit is seeking to grow assets up to 5 percent
this year by winning clients looking to prevent the erosion of
their wealth by inflation, its chief executive said.
Allan Polack, head of Nordea Asset Management, which has 192
billion euros under management, said the firm aimed to expand
internationally and compete with global management houses with
its global equity and emerging markets products.
"I think we will pop up more on global institutional radar
screens. We are becoming more international: coming originally
from the Nordic region, being then European, being international
now. We will be recognised more, and this is what we are working
on," he said on the sidelines of the Fund Forum event in Monaco.
Nordea is looking to capitalise from a greater willingness
among investors to push into higher risk products as they
scramble to protect their wealth as inflation runs well ahead of
rock-bottom interest rates.
"Inflation is a challenge for investors; it is difficult to
get real returns without taking risks, so we have to guide our
clients to get well-diversified, controlled risk," he said.
"One of the areas is credit. We think it is very important
for our risk-averse clients ... We also think it is important to
get exposure to alternatives. It does not have to be a fancy
hedge-fund strategy; it can be a low-risk absolute-return
product," he said.
He said niche investments such as farmland and forestry were
further components to a diversified portfolio.
"We see a clear interest in these two areas. We are working
on that, with real estate also being a building block," he said.
Environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria
investments are a further growth area for the firm.
"The emerging markets are maybe the area where it is most
difficult to handle the ESG challenge," he said.
Nordea has just launched an ESG emerging markets fund,
hoping to raise up to 400 million euros in the Nordic region
with a view to export this product outside the region.
"The more affluent ... of our clients are actually very keen
... The retail client, private banking client likes it because
it (sustainable investment) aligns with their mindset," he said.
(Editing by Christopher Vellacott and Will Waterman)