In 2010, T. Rowe Price ranked 41st in the Pensions & Investments/ Towers Watson list of the world’s largest money managers. In the US market, it has prominent retail and institutional followings, which account for the bulk of its $482 billion in funds under management. This success, however, has not made the traditional long-only equities and fixed-income manager too comfortable in its home market. T. Rowe Price’s international business accounts for 12 per cent of its assets. European clients and prospects do not have to look hard to find a T. Rowe office – try London, Luxembourg, Zurich, Copenhagen and Amsterdam – and partnerships with distributors in Japan, India and Taiwan ensure a presence in these markets. In Japan, T.Rowe struck subadvisory deals with Sumitomo Mitsui and Daiwa Securities to manage non-Japanese equities and bonds, and over the years has garnered mandates from Japanese institutions. It arrived in Australia in late 2005 after winning a reported $1.3 billion global equities mandate from Queensland Investment Corporation. It now manages $3.8 billion from local institutions and retail investors, and in 2010 made the bold move to start a domestic equities team in an already competitive local market. The team, led by Randal Jenneke and country head Murray Brewer, is the first T. Rowe Price manufacturing office to be launched since its Singapore base in 1997.

The manager entered the Indian market in 2009 through its acquisition of 26 per cent of Unit Trust of India (UTI), the fourth-largest funds manager in the country which sells funds through a network of banks, advisers, securities firms and post offices. Todd Ruppert, CEO of T. Rowe Price Investment Services (the distribution arm of the business), claims this distribution footprint is the largest of any manager in India. “They say India is growing from the inside out, and UTI is very well represented in second- and third-tier cities. They have many financial advisers, and we could never compete with that.” By gaining access to this sales network, T. Rowe Price is sharing its intellectual capital with UTI to assist the manager with portfolio management, research, trading, IT and human resources. In return, the US manager is the preferred manufacturer of non- Indian equities and bonds. “There’s a lot of intellectual transfer from our side. But if they want to introduce any product for clients investing outside of India, we would be the product provider.” Although UTI is not currently distributing any T. Rowe Price funds, due to insufficient demand for international products, Ruppert expects this to change as the market matures. The manager then went on to strike a partnership with Marbo Asset Management in Taiwan, an asset management distributor which also runs internet and media businesses, and is now establishing an office in Singapore to service clients in the island state. Its Hong Kong sales office is also paying more attention to clients and prospects in mainland China, an effort spearheaded by its China-born, US-educated head of greater China, Philip Lin.

Leave a comment