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Thursday, March 29, 2012

TCW Lands an International Partnership

Reported by Erin Kello

TCW [profile] has won an international mandate from an Saudi Arabian asset manager. NCB Capital just announced that TCW will manage its international equity funds and expand distribution of NCB products and services internationally.

Los-Angeles based TCW was chosen from a field of other contending US asset managers for its leadership in US markets. NCB is also partnering with European asset manager Amundi to increase its global reach.

Jawdat Al Halabi, chief cxecutive of NCB Capital, said, "By aligning with TCW and Amundi, we are enhancing our strong brand and will have access to highly complementary skills and expertise. Our funds, and therefore our clients, will gain from the proven international capabilities of our two partners.”

TCW will manage three funds for NCB; US, Small Cap and Healthcare equities. These funds will be available only to Saudi investors for now, but the distribution will eventually extend internationally.

Company Press Release

Jeddah, 24 March 2012: NCB Capital licensed by the Capital Market Authority and Saudi Arabia’s leading wealth manager and the Kingdom’s largest asset manager, today announces a global strategic alliance with the Trust Company of the West (TCW) and Amundi to manage its international equity funds and aid the expansion of its products and services internationally. This alliance will create one of the largest and most diversified Shariah fund platforms in the world.

NCB Capital’s award-winning asset management business is the market leader in Saudi Arabia with a strong range of funds, and a portfolio of SR44 billion (US$11.7 billion) of assets under management (as at 31st December 2011). From this solid base, NCB Capital wishes to grow its presence throughout the wider GCC region as well as providing an ever larger range of international investment products for its clients. It has chosen the combined expertise of TCW and Amundi to address this objective.

Announcing the alliance, Jawdat Al Halabi, Chief Executive of NCB Capital, said, “As the leading wealth management firm in the region our clients expect us to provide the best and widest range of services to them. This global alliance will substantially enhance our product offering and geographic reach by establishing an even broader platform. It will be a huge benefit to our clients.”

He continued, “By aligning with TCW and Amundi, we are enhancing our strong brand and will have access to highly complementary skills and expertise. Our funds, and therefore our clients, will gain from the proven international capabilities of our two partners.”

NCB Capital undertook a rigorous selection process with a number of the world's leading asset managers, choosing TCW for its leadership in US markets and Amundi for its global reach, the combined platform providing access to award winning track records for its clients.

Founded in 1971 and based in Los Angeles, TCW develops and manages a broad range of US equity, US fixed income, alternative and international strategies and innovative investment products.  The firm has approximately US$124 billion in assets under management and has a long history of managing funds for institutional clients in the Middle East.

“TCW combines the focus of a specialty asset manager, through our style-specific equity teams, with the proprietary fundamental research and cutting-edge trading capabilities of a large investment firm,’’ said Stephen McDonald, President of the TCW Middle East Group. “The teams managing funds for NCB Capital have consistently generated strong results for their shareholders and we look forward to expanding our capabilities through our partnership with the leading asset manager in Saudi Arabia.”

Amundi is a leading global asset manager ranked 2nd in Europe and 9th worldwide in terms of assets with approximately US$852 billion under management. The firm provides and develops alpha-generating solutions for over 3000 of the world’s largest state entities, pension funds, institutions, corporate funds and distributors covering all asset classes and major currencies. Amundi also provides savings solutions for retail networks to meet the needs of more than 100 million customers worldwide. In the Middle East, Amundi has relationships spanning over three decades with all client segments and has over twenty years experience managing Shariah compliant portfolios.

Commenting on the strategic alliance Mr. Jean-Francois Pincon, Head of International Client Development at Amundi, stated, “We are proud to contribute to this partnership because it will represent a major force in Shariah compliant investment management. NCB Capital’s clients stand to benefit from the best disciplines that each of our three organizations has to offer. We see it as the perfect match. Our clients will be able to tap a deep reservoir of expertise in both Shariah and Conventional formats, in various asset classes ranging from developed to emerging markets.”

Following Saudi Arabia’s Capital Market Authority approvals, TCW and Amundi have begun managing seven of NCB Capital’s AlAhli range of international mutual funds with a combined total of US$550 million. TCW were assigned three funds - US, Small Cap and Healthcare equities - whilst Amundi now manage four funds - Global, Emerging Markets, Asia Pacific and European equities.

Initially, the combined platform will target Saudi investors and in due course its scope will be expanded to international clients.

With multiple projects in the pipeline, initially across equity and fixed income asset classes, NCB Capital will augment its range of Shariah-compliant investment products and will be able to call on the entire range of TCW and Amundi conventional strategies, to the benefit of investors throughout the Kingdom and internationally.

Mr Al Halabi concluded, “NCB Capital’s market position and the global reach of TCW and Amundi will together form a new global force in Shariah asset management. “

NCB Capital is Saudi Arabia’s leading wealth manager and the Kingdom’s largest asset manager. It provides the services and products that match the needs and aspirations of its clients - corporate, institutional and high net worth individuals - in the Kingdom and throughout the region, delivered by a professional workforce in Riyadh, Jeddah, Khobar and Bahrain.

The investment arm of The National Commercial Bank (NCB) of Saudi Arabia, one of the largest banks in the Middle East, in the last twelve months the firm has launched successful new funds, dramatically grown its discretionary portfolio management business and lead the market in brokerage innovations.

It is the largest wealth provider in the Kingdom in size, share and reach, with over one million clients, and SR44 billion (US$11.7 billions) of assets under management. NCB Capital is the market leader in mutual funds in Saudi Arabia and is also the world’s largest Shariah-compliant asset manager.

Through parent NCB’s extensive branch network and its online, retail, and private banking businesses, NCB Capital has an extensive geographic presence in Saudi Arabia. It also has MENA and international access through its subsidiaries Eastgate Capital Group based in Dubai, and through NCB’s subsidiary Turkiye Finans in Turkey.

In 2011, the firm won a record 17 awards for its products and businesses, including Best Asset Manager in Saudi Arabia and Best Fund Manager in the Kingdom, by Islamic Banking and Finance magazine; and Global Investor’s award for Shariah-compliant Fund of the Year in the Middle East. It has received Liper awards for its fund performance.

For more information, please refer to www.ncbc.com.

NCB Capital Company is authorised by the Capital Market Authority under License No. 37 - 06046. The registered office of which is at Al Maather street in Riyadh, P.O. Box 22216, Riyadh 11495, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

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