No Consensus On Fund Product Features Among Asian HNWI

According to findings from global financial services research firm Cerulli, there is no clear consensus among high-net-worth investors (HNWIs) in Asia on fund product features. While Cerulli Associates has been championing the need for a targeted and localized strategy in Asia for several years, there is a real need to do so at the HNWI segment.

This is a key finding of a new report by Cerulli, Wealth Management in Asia 2015: Meeting the Needs of Asia's Affluent Investors. This is Cerulli's inaugural report on the investment behavior and preferences of wealthy investors in the region. For the report, a proprietary survey of 3,000 retail investors in six key markets in Asia--China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, India, and Singapore--was conducted.

Further, contrary to what the broader wealth management industry has been actively promoting in the region in recent years, greater customization of products for HNWIs is overrated in some Asian markets. For Singapore, Hong Kong, and India, the need for greater customization diminishes in importance at higher wealth tiers.

"In fact, HNWIs from Hong Kong and Singapore, the two most developed financial hubs in the region, ranked greater product customization seventh out of the eight product features listed," says Shu Mei Chua, an associate director with Cerulli who led the report.

Cerulli also found that the fund product features that investors look for vary widely across markets and wealth segments. Each market bears its own unique regulatory environment, tax burdens, as well as investors' behavioral characteristics.

"The product features that investors look for are likely to be entirely different from their neighbors'," notes Yoon Ng, Asia research director with Cerulli.

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