Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Asset Management to Open NYC Office

August 24, 2019 | Alternative Investments, News
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The new office will start with 10 employees and follow the blueprint of its London operations

Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Asset Management (SMTAM) will open an office in Manhattan as soon as 2020. Japan’s largest asset manager, with $600 billion in AUM, plans to start with a staff of roughly 10 people. The announcement came from the CEO in a conversation with Reuters.

The asset management group falls under the broader Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings.

It has offices in London, Hong Kong, and Singapore. It also plans to open an office in Luxembourg as it shuffles its strategy ahead of the Brexit.

Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Asset Management Expands

The New York office would be the firm’s first attempt to enter the United States as it expands its international client base. Its office is also part of an attempt to diversify from Japan’s market.

Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Asset Management already manages $20 billion in overseas assets. Furthermore, a large chunk of that capital originated from clients in the Middle East.

That figure is up sharply from the $1.2 billion in international assets it managed in 2012.

CEO Yoshio Hishida told Reuters that the new office’s strategy will align with its London-based team’s operations. They will focus on pensions, endowments, and other institutional clients. However, Hishida told Reuters that he recognizes the challenge of the U.S. markets.

“At the moment, we have almost nothing from U.S. and North American clients; the U.S. is a very tough market for non-U.S. managers, in general,” he said in the interview.

Japanese Takeovers Continue

As we noted in our daily recap of M&A deals in the alternatives space, Mitsui Financial Group announced plans to purchase TT International. This deal is part of a larger trend of Japanese asset managers gobbling up international rivals to increase their footprint.

Last year, Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking snapped up the asset arm of Commonwealth Bank of Australia for $2.9 billion. Hishida told Reuters that he would be open to buying a foreign rival. However, he noted the challenges of integrating cultures in any deal.

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