Factor-specialist Northern Trust Asset Management (NTAM) has established a quantitative investment team targeting the Asia-Pacific region.
Australia-based, Scott Bennett, will head the new NTAM APAC quant unit across the dual locations of Melbourne and Hong Kong.
Bennett joined NTAM in 2018 as head of quant research for Australia and NZ. Before moving to NTAM, Bennett served 14 years with Russell Investments in Australia and the US, most recently as director equity research and strategy.
In a release last week, NTAM said the group had seen increased demand in the region for quant solutions, especially in the environment, social and governance (ESG) area.
Michael Hunstad, NTAM head of quantitative strategies, said the group’s product range is “designed to support the unique requirements of our investors worldwide”.
“Under Scott’s leadership, we are excited to expand our innovative solutions and our factor research and client solutions across Asia-Pacific, bringing our carefully constructed, outcome oriented quantitative capabilities to more clients,” he said.
Hunstad was handed additional responsibilities this January as NTAM combined its three equity teams – quantitative, index and tax-advantaged – into a single unit.
“Knowing that specific investment factors have produced most of the excess returns or alpha in equities for decades, I’m excited about the additional benefits that my colleagues and I will be able to bring clients through quantitative investing synergies among the three teams,” Hunstad said at the time. “The new structure will enable us to fully harness the benefits of factor investing, leaving us better positioned to meet NTAM’s fundamental tenet that investors should always be compensated for the risk they take.”
NTAM has about US$1.6 trillion under management, mostly across its factor-based strategies – also known as ‘smart beta.
The manager has a significant presence in NZ including mandates with the NZ Superannuation Fund, ANZ Investments and Kiwi Wealth.