Putnam Investments announced on Wednesday that it has opened an office in Beijing, representing the firm’s first foothold in China, and the latest step in building its presence in strategic markets within Asia.
The new office will be managed by Michael Luo, chief representative of Putnam Investments Beijing. He will “represent the firm in building and managing relationships with governmental and private institutions in China,” according to the company. Luo will also be responsible for developing Putnam’s longer-term strategy in the country.
Putnam currently has a presence in Asia and Australia through an investment office in Singapore, and sales and client service offices in Sydney and Tokyo. In addition, the firm has offices in London, Frankfurt and Amsterdam. Putnam says it “will be looking to its Beijing office to assess intermediate- and long-term business opportunities and to evaluate future staffing needs in China.”
“With the opening of our Beijing office, Putnam is placing an important stake in the ground to potentially offer our investment management, product design and distribution expertise to one of the most important growth markets in the world,” President and CEO Robert Reynolds (left) said in a statement. “As the financial industry continues to develop in China, we think there is tremendous opportunity for a deep-rooted, global asset manager to help their major institutions with the type of fundamental research-driven active investment approach that a firm like Putnam can bring to the equation. We look forward to beginning this journey.”
Reynolds also noted that the firm is “looking forward to building upon its successful experiences elsewhere in the region, including the growth of its business in Japan and expanding investment research presence in Singapore.”
Luo has has experience in the region, joining Putnam from Invesco Great Wall, based in Shenzhen. Prior to that, Luo was an advisor with China Investment Corp., based in Beijing, where he helped establish the firm’s fixed-income team. Luo began his career in investment research and portfolio management with Morgan Stanley Investment Management in 1998, after receiving his M.S. in financial engineering from Columbia University.
Putnam had $124 billion in assets under management at the end of April. Mutual fund assets were $62.4 billion. Institutional assets were $61.3 billion.