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Five Takeaways From the SS&C Intralinks Asia Pacific Alternative Investments Regional Summit 2021

Highlights from a new virtual series intended to help general partners (GPs) operating in the fast-changing landscape of alternative investments.


SS&C Intralinks kicked off the first of a four-part virtual series Alternative Investments Regional Summit 2021 in Asia Pacific (APAC) on June 8. This summit – and the upcoming sessions in North America, Latin, America and EMEA – have been curated to present an insightful discussion around how fund managers are working to uncover the best opportunities in emerging markets, as well as investors’ desire for new directions in the changing investments landscape. 

Two sessions were held. The first one, “The Future of Alternatives in APAC: Allocators Perspective,” focused the future of alternatives from allocators’ perspectives. Moderator Wei Min Soh, senior account executive at SS&C Intralinks, was joined by panelists Dong Hun Jang, chief investment officer at Public Officials Benefit Association (POBA), and Tuck Meng Yee, chief investment officer and partner at JRT Partners.

The second session, “Next Generation ESG Investing and the Clean Energy Revolution,” was moderated by Tin Tin Sze, account executive at SS&C Intralinks. It featured guest speakers Jason Cheng, co-founder and managing partner at Kerogen Capital; Isaac Poole, global chief investment officer at Oreana Portfolio Advisory; John McCareins, managing executive and head of APAC at Northern Trust Asset Management; and Scott Reinhart, founder and managing director at Brawn Capital. The focus of the discussion was about how allocators and fund managers are working to establish industry standards for environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) and how clean energy investments are shaping decisions in Asia Pacific.

Five key takeaways from the APAC summit:

1. Developed markets continue to outperform emerging markets

There was a consensus at the beginning of the year that emerging markets would outperform developed markets, only for the converse to be true thus far. With the U.S. dollar remaining largely stable, and correlations between the rate of return with fixed income and the equities market shifting to positive in the last six months, most portfolios have been growth-oriented and emerging markets have again been left behind.

2. Cash is king

The return of cash stockpiles is a good sign for the markets. Safe havens (such as gold) and income-paying investments should be a consideration for a bedrock position in one’s portfolio.

3. Decarbonization and ESG as a megatrend

Countries’ commitment to net-zero carbon across various Asia-Pacific has grown over the years, with the main change being government intervention to speeding up to process. The gap in the cost of capital of traditional energy versus new energy has widened dramatically; investors can mitigate the risk by increasing positions in companies that support a greener environment.

4. ESG as a crucial factor in allocation

The last 18 months serve as a reminder to investors of the importance of defensive and future-proof positioning in portfolios. While clean Energy has underperformed as a sector for 2021 thus far, the long-term outlook remains positive and it should be an increasingly larger part of investors’ allocations in the future.

5. The green transition/transformation toward a renewable future

Investments in the Energy sector often involve a bifurcation of mindsets, with investors either leaning toward traditional players or purely renewable operational assets. The paradigm shift already started years ago and the increased use of renewable energy combined with intense electrification in 2021 will be looked back on as a pivotal moment.

The alternative investments industry holds an exciting future in Asia Pacific as we see dynamic growth opportunities across the region. Managers and allocators have been aggressive in shifting to unique asset classes and opportunities that are arising as appetites mature.

To learn more about upcoming SS&C Intralinks regional virtual summits, click here.