DWS, the asset management arm of the Deutsche Bank group, has re-entered the British retail fund market with a range of regional and thematic funds.
Four years after DWS sold its entire fund range to Aberdeen Asset Management the group has acquired distributor status and added sterling-denominated share classes to 10 of its highest-profile funds.
Sven Erik Knoop, the managing director of DWS, says the new fund range is entirely different from the previous ones.
“The UK market is already very competitive,” he says. “But we are now looking to fill niches with products where we have got a competitive edge.”
Among the highest-profile products brought into the market are the DWS Invest Chinese Equities fund, the DWS Invest Bric Plus fund, the DWS Invest Global Agribusiness and the DWS Invest Climate Change fund.
The group’s edge in managing Chinese equities, for example, was strengthened through a joint venture with Harvest Global Investments, a fully-owned subsidiary of Harvest, China’s largest Sino-foreign joint venture asset management company.
“Our fund managers have built an excellent track record in managing Bric and Asian funds,” Knoop says. “We are also well positioned in the market of theme funds.”
The British retail market offers compelling opportunities for DWS, he says, mainly because of its size and risk/return profile.
Knoop expects the demand for these funds to rise in January 2010, when most of them will have established a three-year track record. The funds are not listed on any fund platforms, but Knoop does not rule out listing them at some point. So far, DWS has targeted only banks and asset managers only.
In 2005, Aberdeen bought various businesses from Deutsche Asset Management. Having added over £45 billion of assets under management, Aberdeen nearly tripled its assets under management.