Eight Investment Partners, the Asian fund management unit of South Africa’s Sanlam Group, is seeking to have seven portfolios by next year as it seeks to grow funds under management by almost 50 percent.

Rick Steele, chief executive of the firm, expects funds under management to reach $400 million in the next 12 months from $270 million at present. He will bolster funds under management by seeking to launch a third Undertaking for Collective Investments in Transferable Securities fund as well as a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission registered fund.

Eight Investment Partners has two mandates from Sanlam and a managed Australian investment scheme. It invests in 13 Asian markets and has offices in Bangalore and Hong Kong in addition to its Sydney headquarters.

“Why should Asia trade at a discount?” Asks Steele, who worked for 13 years at BT in Australia. “It’s the premium region.”

The firm started investing last year after it was established in 2009. It employs 16 people and may add another two staff in Hong Kong.

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