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Axa buys into Korean fund firm

Axa Investment Management has bought a 50 per cent stake in Korea’s seventh-biggest asset manager, Kyobo ITMC.

The Seoul-based company will trade under the name of Kyobo Axa Investment Managers and will manage around £7.5bn in assets, which are mostly fixed income. Axa says the objective is to increase the proportion of money managed for third-party institutional and retail clients.

The Korean asset management industry, which is valued at £200bn, is expected to grow by 15 per cent a year over the coming years.

Axa IM chief executive Dominique Carrel-Billiard says “After the launch of our joint ventures in China and India, we are continuing our geographical expansion into markets with strong and continuous growth prospects. South Korea is one of the most attractive markets in Asia. Kyobo and Axa share converging approaches in many fields such as investment philosophy, business experience and distribution.”

Kyobo Life Insurance chief investment officer Yung B Lee says: “Our decision to form a joint venture with Axa was inevitable to facilitate our asset management capacity to a world-class level.”

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