Daiwa Securities, Japan’s second-largest brokerage firm, will offer separately managed accounts beginning in July with the aim of capturing another 30 billion to 50 billion yen, or $270 to $450 million, from high-net worth clients, Reuters reports.

The move makes Daiwa the second Japanese brokerage, following third-ranked Nikko Cordial, to launch an SMA program (see MME May 31, 2004). Nikko launched its service in April in hopes of raking in two trillion yen in the next 10 years.

Recent financial sector reforms have made it easier for Japanese brokerages to offer SMA products and services. In the U.S., assets held in SMAs totaled $506.6 billion at the end of 2003, according to industry trade association Money Management Institute.

Japanese investors largely don’t invest in stocks or mutual funds, opting rather to conserve cash or use low-interest bank and other deposits. A mere 9% of the nation’s $12 trillion in assets are put into stocks or investment funds.

Japanese brokerages, whose profit margins have widened on the back of a recovery in Tokyo stock prices, are looking to build market share and grow assets by offering a wider range of investment tools such as SMAs.

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