Citi Asset Management broadens Japan distribution

By the end of this year, Citigroup Asset Management aims to distribute its retail mutual fund products through JapanÆs top money centre banks, says Patrick Kawasjee, president and CEO in Tokyo.

At present Citi is establishing relationships with the leading five securities firms. The biggest brokers have all built up big teams for defined contribution, Kawasjee says. The banks have been latecomers.

The firm has just established a distributor relationship with one leading bank he declined to name it and Kawasjee expects to finalize several more deals with banks by the summer. Since 1998, when banks were first allowed to distribute mutual funds in Japan, his firm has had to rely on family ties Citibank was its sole bank distributor.

The trick is offering products that banks want to sell, he says. For example, Citigroups product set runs from A to Z yen bond...

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