| HONG KONG
HONG KONG Jan 20 Mutual fund manager Franklin
Templeton has hired a former hedge fund manager to expand its
Asian line-up of products investing in lucrative alternative
assets, joining its peers in tapping a rapidly growing market.
Scott Collison, who in 2011 launched one of the biggest
hedge funds in Asia, has joined Franklin Templeton in Singapore
as its first head of alternative sales for Asia, home to some of
the world's fastest growing economies and large institutional
Franklin Templeton manages some $880 billion worth of assets
"It's the convergence of traditional and alternatives
managers that I think is the key thing going forward," Collison
told Reuters in a telephone interview.
"Many years from now, when people will look back, they will
see this period as an inflection point," said Collison, who shut
his hedge fund, Orvent Asset Management, in 2012.
Alternatives include hedge funds, real estate and private
equity, and these products earn asset managers far higher fees
than the traditional mutual funds and exchange-traded funds. For
money managers, alternative assets also diversify income
After a brief slowdown during the 2008 financial crisis,
alternative assets have continued to gain popularity with
investors, with large asset managers the biggest beneficiary of
Hedge funds, for example, have seen their assets grow by a
trillion dollar to over $2.5 trillion since 2009, according to
data from industry tracker HFR. A survey by Barclays, released
on Monday, said the industry could raise a net $80 billion in
2014, a nearly 25 percent increase over 2013.
The survey also showed that 66 percent of the inflows
through September in 2013 went to firms managing $5 billion or
more, while 13 percent went to those with less than $1 billion.
Globally, asset managers have been scrambling to expand
their alternative investment products.
U.S. asset manager Principal Global picked a majority stake
in hedge fund investor Liongate Capital last year, while Legg
Mason bought Fauchier Partners, one of London's oldest
fund-of-hedge-funds firms, in 2012.
Franklin Resources also bought a stake in
fund-of-hedge-funds K2 Advisors in 2012, boosting its global
offerings that include alternative products from private equity