Jupiter Asset Management, one of the newest entrants into the Latin America mutual funds market, is taking the unusual step to bypass institutional clients to focus exclusively on the wealth management segment.
In September, the London-based manager announced it would enter Latin America through a deal with third-party distributor Unicorn Strategic Partners.
Most firms entering the region focus on institutional clients first because of the scale of that market. However, Jupiter and Unicorn are focusing on the wealth hubs of New York, Miami and Montevideo as well as in Santiago, mostly targeting platforms serving high net worth clients.
Head of global key clients and strategic partners Matteo Perruccio said it would be an oversight to not service the promising Latin American wealth market.
Perruccio, who handles relationships with major global wealth firms, said: ‘One cannot be a major player with Citibank globally and with UBS globally or Santander globally and not provide assistance on the ground in Latin American markets, which for many of them is either the number one or second fastest growing geography or region.’
The move also fits in with Jupiter’s growth trajectory. Italy was the last territory Jupiter entered before making the jump to Latin America, with the Mediterranean country soon becoming the manager’s largest market outside the UK, said Perruccio.
As the firm sought to expand, Perruccio said Jupiter found both Italian and Latin American investors have a tilt toward fixed-income given the high historical returns in their local markets.
‘When you put together the fact that Latin America, particularly, the Latin American offshore market has a very similar investment philosophy to the Italian mindset that combined with the fact that...there’s a projection that by 2021 there will be [$7 trillion in Latin American private wealth] - those are big numbers,’ Perruccio said.
‘This is a high growth area… so that was what was driving us.’
Along with Unicorn, created by a group of industry veterans led by David Ayastuy, Jupiter has found demand from Latin American clients for products in the international debt space, particularly flexible fixed income.
Perruccio also said he’s been surprised with surging interest in Indian equities. Jupiter’s fund range includes the JGF India Select, a vehicle with a growth tilt run by Citywire + rated manager Avinash Vazirani.
‘I think that’s an indicator of a combination of things: a dearth of quality products in that space, and an increasing demand as India is starting to flex its muscles and show that it’s got a real growth potential.’
Overall, Jupiter ran 42.3 billion ($56.05 billion) as of September 30, according to its third quarter trading update, which added the firm got net inflows of 1.2 billion pounds ($1.59 billion) in that period.