Best Asian Bond Fund: S.E.A Asian High Yield Bond

S.E.A. Asset Management is a privately owned boutique fund manager based in Singapore. We spoke to Alexander Zeeh, CEO of S.E.A Asset Management, to find out more about their company and their highly innovative S.E.A Asian High Yield Bond.

Founded in 2007, our clients are primarily European UHNW individuals who want to get exposure to regional Asian equities and corporate bonds in order to participate in Asian economic growth via earnings, dividends and interest. With our office located in Singapore, we have a unique advantage in gaining access to identify regional investment opportunities for our investors.

In 2015, we initiated S.E.A. Funds SICAV in Luxembourg. Under this UCITS compliant umbrella fund, we manage the S.E.A. Asian Equity Discovery Fund and the S.E.A. Asian High Yield Bond Fund. Our funds are not benchmark driven, and we tend to invest more in midcap stocks to concentrate on regional earnings growth as well as lesser known issuers whose credit worthiness we strongly believe in. These securities tend to be less liquid than the broader market so our portfolios tend to be more diversified than those of peers who need to take larger bets to outperform their benchmark indices. As such, our strategy yields higher returns coupled with lower volatility hence delivering superior risk/reward over time. In our industry, boutique fund managers and independent asset managers like ourselves still represent a relatively small part of the Asian market. We operate in a fragmented but fast growing niche.

With an increasingly maturing market, we will gain more visibility and recognition as local player and attract a larger share of investors amid established market entrants from overseas.

Another feature of our industry is that it is constantly evolving. From our experience, the companies that do not adopt intelligently to compliance requirements imposed by new regulation in the sector will soon realise that internal compliance can become a bottleneck for new business development. As such, the costs of an ineffective front held back by counterproductive business policies can have serious negative impact on a companies’ profitability, and possibly its survival. With this in mind, those players who decentralise compliance and enable it to become a support function for a fund manager’s sales force will have the best chances.

Despite the many changes in our industry, our size as a small and flexible unit means that the broader industry trends don’t impact us as much as they perhaps impact large multinational fund houses. Furthermore, we partner with global firms in fields such as legal and compliance or corporate access and fund administration to always be on the cutting edge of know-how available to keep ahead of the game.

Moreover, we have attractive niche products attractive in a low interest rate environment. Most of our competitors’ products are not unconstrained and limited by their respective benchmark limitations. They must rely on brand and sales force to distribute their products which also pushes up costs. In addition, our small size makes us more flexible and less exposed to regulatory burdens, and our decision making process concerning investments is uncomplicated and very fast.

In terms of our approach towards client service, we like to see clients and staff as our partners. If a true partnership exists between the stake holders, they all can mutually benefit, and only then the relationship will grow and prosper. Looking further into 2016 and beyond, we are very confident that our company will continue to grow and prosper. Now with our funds registered for distribution in Singapore we will target more Asian investors and perhaps expand into Hong Kong as well.

Company: S.E.A. Asset Management Pte Ltd
Name: Alexander Zeeh
Email: alexander.zeeh@
Address: 230 Orchard Road,
#10-232 Faber House,
Singapore 238854
Telephone: (65) 6732 4864