Emerging markets manager of the year - DWS
DWS takes this year's prize thanks to its focus on return opportunities in Asia, particularly in the credit market space.
DWS manages $21.4bn in the APAC region, of which $11.9bn is within active fixed income.
The composition of Asian credit markets offers the prospect of increased sectoral and issuer diversification, an opportunity which DWS has widely engaged with many UK and European insurers on.
The manager's specific focus on this market, combined with its Solvency II knowledge was praised by the judges, who noted that this approach can "can add lots of value to insurance portfolios".
Marlon Rockenfeller, global head of insurance advisory and strategy at DWS, says it expects further interest for the greater emerging markets segment and in particular the investment-grade Asian bond segment in the coming year, as a natural diversifier that offers attractive returns to complement a EUR/USD investment-grade allocation of insurers globally.
"Besides offering attractive fundamental features, Asian investment-grade bonds may also provide superior capital-adjusted returns under Solvency II," he says.
The recent interest in the asset class by European insurers has also been driven by its resilient performance during the COVID-19 crisis, and by the significant decrease in FX hedging costs for euro-based investors, Rockenfeller continues. "In general, the country- and sector diversification within this market segment is attractive to insurers, along with domestically-driven growth. Given its benign correlation features, it is a natural continuation of the ongoing diversification within insurance fixed income portfolios."