Reflections on my recent visit to China

Why the country represents an increasingly attractive opportunity for both domestic and global investors

In my recent visit to China, I met with a variety of clients, as well as digital companies. In spite of the overhang of the US-China trade wars, everyone I spoke with remained optimistic about the opportunity for further investment in this important market and broadly bullish in their long-term economic outlook.

This optimism is consistent with the results of our recent China survey of more than 400 asset owners and professional investors across North America, Asia Pacific and Europe. In our survey, we found that half of the respondents have increased their investment allocations in China over the past year, and more than 60% said they expect to increase their China exposure over the next 12 months.

It’s clear from my discussions that Chinese authorities are committed to supporting investor interests in the country’s capital markets and are taking constructive steps to address investor concerns. For international investors, they have taken steps such as lifting investment quotas in the Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (QFII) program to allow for easier foreign capital participation.

China’s assets under management continue to grow exponentially on its digital wealth platforms, which are enabling young and technology savvy/growing middle-class investors to participate in the markets efficiently and at scale. An early glimpse of this trend several years ago convinced us to launch our own digital wealth platform in the Americas with the acquisition of Jemstep, which we’ve expanded over the years with further acquisitions in Europe and the US. Building on the strength of our franchise in China, Invesco is participating in a number of the country’s digital wealth platforms through its joint venture Invesco Great Wall, which are making meaningful contributions to our business.

As you would expect, the clients I met with were curious about US sentiment toward China, given the US-China trade wars. As our survey results confirmed, the bullish stance of institutional investors in the US (as well as Europe) is seemingly undeterred by trade tensions. We believe this, coupled with the easing barriers to entry and ongoing regulatory reforms in China’s vast investment market, should further drive interest and investment in one of the world’s most attractive and exciting markets.

Important information

Blog header image: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

Invesco Great Wall Fund Management Co. Ltd. is a 49% Invesco-owned joint venture. Jemstep, Inc. provides a digital solution for investment advisors. Both entities are wholly owned indirect subsidiaries of Invesco Ltd.

Martin L. Flanagan is President and Chief Executive Officer of Invesco, a position he has held since August 2005. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Invesco and serves as a Trustee and Vice Chairman of the Invesco Funds.

Mr. Flanagan joined Invesco from Franklin Resources, Inc., where he was president and co-chief executive officer from January 2004 to July 2005. Previously, he had been Franklin’s copresident from May 2003 to January 2004, chief operating officer and chief financial officer from November 1999 to May 2003, and senior vice president and chief financial officer from 1993 until November 1999. Mr. Flanagan served as director, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Templeton, Galbraith & Hansberger, Ltd. before its acquisition by Franklin in 1992. Before joining Templeton in 1983, he worked with Arthur Andersen & Co.

Mr. Flanagan earned a BA degree and a BBA from Southern Methodist University (SMU). He is a Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA) charterholder and a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). He serves on the Board of Governors and as a member of the Executive Committee for the Investment Company Institute, and is a former chairman. He also serves as a member of the Executive Board at the SMU Cox School of Business and is involved with a number of civic activities in Atlanta. He also serves as chairman of Engage Ventures, an independent venture fund and platform based in Atlanta, and is 2020 chair-elect of the Metro Atlanta Chamber.

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