Jessica Jones: «We Are Committed to Expanding Our Retail Business»

Jessica Jones, Goldman Sachs Asset Management

Jessica Jones, Goldman Sachs Asset Management

«There is a lot of ground work that has to be done over months and years before entering a market and we’re in this for the long-term,» Jessica Jones from Goldman Sachs Asset Management says in an exclusive interview with

Ms. Jones, three months ago Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM) launched 13 investment funds to retail investors in Singapore. Can you comment on how they have been received?

We’re delighted with the reception so far. We have been in the Singapore market for over 25 years now working with institutional and private banking clients. One of the reasons we branched out into retail was because clients and fund selectors were asking for differentiated products and strategies like our US Balanced Real Estate Portfolio which offer real diversification benefits in the market.

Each year we hold an Asian Summit and the attendance this year in Singapore is up significantly, so that tells us we’re doing something right.

When the funds were launched the markets in Asia were volatile, did that help or hinder your launch?

There is no point in trying to time the market. There is a lot of ground work that has to be done over months and years before entering a market and we’re in this for the long-term.

«We have seen inflows into our emerging market strategies across equities and fixed income»

Our immediate priorities post-launch have been to introduce ourselves, build brand recognition and awareness among the relationship managers. That said we have seen inflows into our emerging market strategies across equities and fixed income which is pleasing. We’re very much on track. 

Since the introduction of the funds are you getting sufficient feedback to consider expanding the offering?

We launched thirteen funds across emerging markets equities, debt, U.S. real estate and high yield and we chose those funds based on demand and feedback from our clients. It’s very early days at the moment. In this initial phase a lot of the work is really in introducing the products that we have brought to the market.

But that said, a big part of our focus in other retail markets and in Singapore is on engaging with and listening to clients and then seeing where we can add value. That might be in with products, but we also share best practice from other markets that we operate in.

«Watch this space»

For example Vince Tiseo our Global Head of Business Practices in the U.S. will be presenting at our upcoming Asia Summit. So yes, we will be listening to the market and responding accordingly and will be open to launching new products if appropriate.

Based on the Singapore experience are you ready to roll out to other markets or are there regulatory hurdles restricting this?

We are committed to expanding our retail business where it makes sense to do so and we’ve done that in markets like the U.S., Italy, Germany, Japan, and now Singapore. It’s selective, based on where we think we can bring our global expertise to the market. Watch this space.

HSBC and Standard Chartered are your initial partners in Singapore. They are not the largest players in the market. Are you making progress with the local banks?

Absolutely, we are talking to the local banks and we’re pretty much where we expected to be. It made sense to launch with our established and long standing global partners like HSBC and Standard Chartered.

«Their business was part of our longer term strategy»

We built a familiarity and track record at the global fund selection level of these partners and extending our relationship into the retail segments of their business was part of our longer term strategy.

As someone who is at the sharp end of the business are you noticing an increase in Independent Asset Managers and Family Offices across Asia?

Yes, we are hearing from our clients that this is an increasing trend, but you might expect that in a fragmented and fast growing market like Asia. The main point is the overall market is growing and maturing, which makes it attractive.

Jessica Jones is the Head of Third Party Distribution in Asia Pacific (Ex-Japan) for Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM). She joined Goldman Sachs in 2004 and was named managing director in 2013. She was previously a member of GSAM's European Third Party Distribution team for eight years.

During her tenure, she was responsible for the business development across a variety of countries and investor types, both discretionary and advisory.Prior to moving to Asia, Jones was the co-Head of Nordic Third Party Distribution for GSAM.  She is currently based in Hong Kong.

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