TOKYO - Nikko Asset Management has been recognised for excellence by Hong-Kong based Asia Asset Management. The firm won the Best of the Best Country Award for Japan in three categories: Best Institutional House, ETF Manager of the Year and Best Responsible Investor. This is the fourth consecutive year for Nikko Asset Management to be honored by Asia Asset Management.
The Tokyo-headquartered asset manager was recognised as Japan's Best Institutional House for its ability to provide progressive solutions for institutional investors amidst Japan's negative interest rate environment in 2016. In response to the Bank of Japan's introduction of negative interest rates, the firm has offered a series of U.S. and European fixed income products managed by the firm's London-based Global Fixed Income Team, which has expanded over the past two years to broaden the firm's global investment capabilities. In the first half of fiscal 2016, the firm's Japanese institutional business saw net inflows of JPY 482 billion, placing it first in Japan for the private placement of funds.
"The Bank of Japan's negative interest rate policy provided new challenges for Japanese financial institutions in 2016. Our in-house global investment capability allowed us to quickly provide our clients in Japan the performance they needed," said Masato Mishina, Head of Institutional Sales Second Group at Nikko Asset Management.
The firm was also acknowledged as Japan's ETF Manager of the Year, for its leadership in expanding Asia's largest exchange traded fund (ETF) market. Of the 11 new ETFs listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in 2016, three were from Nikko Asset Management, more than any other investment manager. Nikko Asset Management's ETF business grew assets under management (AUM) to over JPY 4 trillion by December 2016, representing 29% year-over-year growth from 3.1 trillion at the end of 2015. The firm's ETF business is ranked number two in Japan for AUM, and it is also one of the few investment managers that can provide a full range of ETF products across all major asset classes in Japan - Japanese equities, foreign equities, Japanese REITs and foreign REITs.
Finally, Asia Asset Management awarded Nikko Asset Management the Best Responsible Investor Award for Japan, recognising the firm's leadership in the field of responsible investing. Nikko Asset Management was one of the first signatories to Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) in 2007, and is the only Asian-based asset manager to have received an A+ in the governance category for Japanese equities from PRI. The firm also maintains an ESG Steering Committee that governs the fulfillment of its ESG Policy, and is mandated by the Global Executive Committee ("GEC") and chaired by the Global Head of Investment.
"Our primary focus is on delivering real value to our clients, as a performance driven, long-term global investor," said Yu-Ming Wang, Deputy President, Global Head of Investment & CIO, International at Nikko Asset Management. "We believe one cannot claim to be a good fiduciary, mandated to create and preserve long-term wealth, while ignoring the principles of sustainable and responsible investing. Because of this fundamental connection, responsible investing is core to our identity at Nikko Asset Management."
 Asia Asset Management's annual Best of the Best Awards have been recognising outstanding players in the fund management business in Asia for the past 13 years. The Awards are divided into three categories: Performance, Country, and Regional awards. The country awards are focused on the comparison of achievements and skill of each fund management company against other companies from the same country. This section looks at the company's overall impact in shaping the nation's asset management sector.
About Nikko Asset Management
With US$176.5 billion (17.88 trillion yen) under management, Nikko Asset Management is one of Asia's largest asset managers, providing high-conviction, active fund management across a range of Equity, Fixed Income, Multi-Asset and Alternative strategies. In addition, its complementary range of passive strategies covers more than 20 indices and includes some of Asia's largest exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
Headquartered in Asia for nearly 60 years, the firm represents more than 200 investment professionals and over 30 nationalities across 9 countries. More than 300 banks, brokers, financial advisors and life insurance companies around the world distribute the company's products.
The investment teams benefit from a unique global perspective complemented by the firm's historic Asian DNA, striving to deliver consistent excellence in performance. The firm also prides itself on its progressive solution-driven approach, which has led to many innovative funds launched for its clients.
* Consolidated assets under management and sub-advisory of Nikko Asset Management and its subsidiaries as of September 30, 2016.
** As of September 30, 2016, including employees of Nikko Asset Management and its subsidiaries.