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SYZ Asset Management adds Japanese equities to range of institutional strategies

SYZ Asset Management, the institutional asset management arm of the Swiss banking Group SYZ & Co, is now offering management of Japanese equities as part of its range of institutional strategies.

To implement this strategy, SYZ Asset Management has recruited Joël Le Saux, a Japanese market specialist.

Offered to institutional investors in the form of segregated mandates, this expertise will also be accessible to a broader public via the Oyster Japan Opportunities fund, which will be managed by SYZ Asset Management. This new asset class strengthens the SYZ & Co Group’s expertise in international equities and is an addition to the 17 strategies already available.

The Japanese market has been generally moribund since the real-estate bubble burst in 1990 and the long period of deflation that has plagued the Japanese economy ever since, having hardly attracted investors for 20 years. Yet Japan is nonetheless the world’s third-largest economy and, with the third-largest stock market capitalization, cannot be ignored in the context of international management. Furthermore the arrival in power of Shinzo Abe, the implementation of a much more expansionary monetary policy and the sharp drop in the value of the yen – which gives renewed competitiveness to products made in the land of the Rising Sun – might mark the beginning of a return to favour for the Tokyo stock exchange.

Le Saux joins SYZ Asset Management with 17 years’ experience of the Japanese market. He spent four years with Crédit Lyonnais Asset Management Japan as an analyst, before becoming a manager of Japanese equity funds with Crédit Agricole Asset Management in Paris following the takeover of Crédit Lyonnais, Lazard Frères Gestion in Paris and Credit Suisse in Singapore. After Credit Suisse discontinued this management activity, he joined UBP in Geneva in 2011, where he was a product specialist and analyst for funds investing in Japan.

In addition to management of segregated accounts, Le Saux will be taking over management of the Oyster Japan Opportunities fund, which until now was entrusted to the asset management company Morant Wright of London. Unlike the orientation towards mainly domestic small- and medium-sized companies that had prevailed until now, Le Saux’s management will be more agnostic in terms of style, sectors and market capitalisation. His “bottom-up” approach focuses on undervalued companies, while taking into account the Japanese and global economic environment. The portfolio will be more balanced between domestic-oriented stocks and international exporting companies.

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