Exclusive | Janus Henderson to focus on Greater Bay Area, Hong Kong investment-migration scheme, CEO Ali Dibadj says

Exclusive | Janus Henderson to focus on Greater Bay Area, Hong Kong investment-migration scheme, CEO Ali Dibadj says

Exclusive | Janus Henderson to focus on Greater Bay Area, Hong Kong investment-migration scheme, CEO Ali Dibadj says

“[Hong Kong] is a portal to such a huge part of the world and it is a portal that continues to grow,” Dibadj said, noting that it would be foolish to doubt Hong Kong’s vibrancy in an apparent dig at comments made recently by Stephen Roach.

Janus Henderson CEO Ali Dibadj is positive about China’s the long-term outlook. Photo: Xiaomei Chen

Roach, an economist and former Morgan Stanley Asia chairman, sparked uproar with an opinion piece last month in which he said “Hong Kong is over”. Roach argued that the city’s stock market was likely to remain in the doldrums, citing domestic politics, Beijing’s structural economic problems and worsening US-China tensions.

The 90-year-old London and Denver headquartered firm had US$345 billion of assets under management as of end-2023. Janus Henderson has offices in 24 cities across the world and employs more than 2,000 people.

The asset manager serves ultra-high-net-worth clients – those with assets of at least US$30 million, family offices, sovereign wealth funds, and institutional clients such as insurers and pension firms. It also sells fund products through insurers and banks including AIA, HSBC and Prudential.

Dibadj said Hong Kong’s integration with the Greater Bay Area will bring in new opportunities for Janus Henderson as the development area will create many innovative businesses and lead to demand for wealth management.

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Hong Kong’s newly launched cash-for-residency scheme will also spur a huge demand for long-term investment products, including those offered by Janus Henderson, he said.

The government launched the Capital Investment Entrant Scheme on March 1, commonly known as the investment-migration scheme, offering a faster route to residency for people who invest at least HK$30 million (US$3.84 million) in stocks, bonds or other assets, excluding residential property.

Andrew Hendry, head of Asia distribution at Janus Henderson, said the investment migration scheme was a great initiative.

“The scheme will bring fresh flow of long-term sticky money into Hong Kong,” he said. “We are very enthusiastic about that development because we can provide [products] with a stable, long-term predictable track record for these investors.”

Hendry said the cash-for-residency scheme, along with other government measures to promote family offices in Hong Kong, will increase demand for fund companies like Janus Henderson.

The firm was founded in London in 1934 as Henderson Global Investors to manage the estate of Alexander Henderson, a stockbroker and financier of railways in Great Britain. It was merged with Denver-based Janus Capital in 2017 to create the current company.

“From one client in 1934 to more than 60 million customers, we want to reach millions more,” Dibadj said, adding that it could help clients in China achieve their financial goals.

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Last week, Janus Henderson held its first summit in Hong Kong to promote stock and bond investments. Investors are generally reluctant to invest in stocks or bonds given the current returns on time deposits of around 4 per cent.

“One of the big problems right now for a lot of investors around the world is that they are sitting on cash,” Dibadj said, noting that a lot of investors have missed the massive upside potential considering the US stock market has risen more than 20 per cent in the last year.

Dibadj is positive about China’s long-term outlook. Janus has hired Victoria Mio, a veteran investment expert in China equities, as the head of Greater China equities.

“When we look at companies in any region, we select the best ones for our investors. There are thousands of jewels in China, and we want to bring these jewels to our 60 million customers worldwide,” he said.

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