Legg Mason, Cathay to launch thematic portfolios via robo – Ignites Asia

September 6, 2019
Legg Mason, Cathay to launch thematic portfolios via robo – Ignites Asia

U.S.-based Legg Mason and Taipei-based Cathay Financial Holdings have teamed up to launch theme-based investment solutions to Taiwanese investors via Cathay United Bank’s robo-advisory platform.

Cathay Robo will offer two portfolios focusing on income and industry thematics, the first of its kind within Taiwan’s banking segment, according to David Sun, senior executive vice president at Cathay Financial Holdings.

Cathay Robo’s new solutions come as more robo-advisors entered the Taiwanese market this year. Taiwan saw a spate of new robo-advisor launches in April, when four companies, including EZfunds, Fubon Bank, Nomura Asset Management and Anue Fund, brought their respective platforms online.

The income-focused portfolio aims to increase risk-adjusted yield for investors seeking a regular income stream. The industry-focused one seeks to make the most of opportunities across various sectors and industries throughout global markets while managing volatility, the firm says in a statement.

Investment insights and resource will be provided by QS Investors, a quantitative and multi-asset affiliate of Legg Mason.

Cathay Robo, which is also supported by Hong Kong-based robo-advisor Quantifeed, was launched in October 2018 and features a 24-hour real-time monitoring and rebalancing mechanism.

This is not the first time Legg Mason and Cathay have linked up in the region. In June 2018, the two collectively invested around US$10 million into Quantifeed.

“We see increasing demand for customised and self-directed solutions that can satisfy investors’ risk profiles and meet their investment objectives, alongside burgeoning appetite for a seamless and interactive digital experience, unconfined by the usual operating hours of a physical setup,” according to James Verner, managing director and head of international alternative distribution strategies at Legg Mason.

Verner relocated to Hong Kong in April this year from London to continue covering Asia Pacific and Europe.

He is responsible for identifying and developing new channels of distribution for Legg Mason and developing existing client relationships by leveraging technology, services that focus on both institutional and retail markets outside of the U.S.