AXA Investment Managers (IM) is bringing a raft of new funds to Mexico as the group builds out its local offering and approaches the two-year anniversary of launching its outpost in that country.
The French asset manager is looking to introduce at least seven funds to the Mexican market this year, country head Salvador Moreno told Citywire Americas. These include a robotics fund mirroring the AXA WF Framlington Robotech and a digital economy vehicle mirroring the AXA WF Framlington Digital Economy.
Robotics and the digital economy, which includes e-commerce, figure among the five themes AXA has identified as the future of growth investing. Thematic funds are new to the Mexican market, Moreno said, adding he believes AXA IM has an edge to offer these solutions.
‘It’s more likely that a global manager will enter these thematic investments than a local one,’ Moreno said.
‘The Mexican market has approximately 30 investment advisors and operators, and many are local and linked to brokerages. Those that are linked to banks are focused on one particular region. But there are few managers like us with a global reach here in Mexico, so we think we have a real advantage.’
In addition, the company expects to launch a fixed income fund investing in Mexican government papers and four ‘life cycle’ vehicles to meet the risk-return needs of pension savers across different age ranges. Local chief investment officer Salvador Galindo will run the products.
Moreno said he expected six of the funds to launch by June, while the digital economy vehicle should become available in the second half of the year. Last year, AXA brought to Mexico its WF Framlington Talents Global strategy, which invests in global equities of all market capitalizations.
AXA IM obtained its permit to operate in Mexico in May 2016, Moreno said. The firm then won a mandate from sister company AXA Seguros, a local insurer, to run a raft of portfolios and later scoped out the pension fund market to seek more clients.
The asset manager is now focused on consolidating its product offering in Mexico, Moreno said, adding that he’s also actively looking for distribution partners.
In addition, a recent reform poised to make it easier for pension funds Afores to invest in mutual funds has sparked Moreno’s attention. Currently the Afores tend to manage their international exposure through mandates.
‘In any of the two formats, whether it is with a mandate or with our funds available in the Mexican market, [the Afore] market is obviously of a lot of interest,’ Moreno said. ‘We think we’re going to have an opportunity,’ he added.
AXA IM runs about $2.5 billion in Mexico, including the insurance mandate and other agreements that Moreno couldn’t disclose, he said.