THE STANDALONE trust corporation (SATC) of listed Union Bank of the Philippines, Inc. (UnionBank) is looking to grow its assets under management (AUMs) as it expands its retail client base and introduces new products.

“UnionBank Investment Management and Trust Corp. (UBIMTC) ranks as one of the top asset managers in the local trust industry and aims to increase its AUMs through product expansion and distribution channel growth,” it said in an e-mail.

UBIMTC currently caters mostly to mass-affluent and institutional clients, but operating as an SATC will allow the company to further expand to the retail sector, it said.

The trust firm began operating independently on March 1 after the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas approved its certificate of authority to operate on Nov. 14, 2023.

It was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Oct. 11, 2023.

UBIMTC said it will launch new products and add distribution channels within and outside the UnionBank group to reach the retail segment.

The SATC also plans to launch funds with multi-currency and income-paying features.

The new funds will allow both individual and institutional customers to invest in local and global assets or funds, UBIMTC said.

“It also aims to utilize its new independence as a trust entity in acquiring additional distribution channels for retail funds,” UBIMTC said.

The company plans to add investment outlets that will include different asset classes, currencies, sectors, themes, and geographic locations, it said.

It could also diversify its investment portfolio to global stocks and bonds to enhance portfolio diversification, in addition to its continued investment in the Philippine market.

Expectations of robust Philippine economic growth in the coming years will spur public and private investments, which will help develop the country’s capital markets, it added.

“The continued development of the Philippine capital markets, leading to access for investors to a wider range of financial products and services, shall also be a significant catalyst in driving AUM growth,” UBIMTC said.

UBIMTC’s parent UnionBank saw its net income decrease by 28% year on year to P9.07 billion in 2023 due to one-time integration costs related to its acquisition of Citigroup Inc.’s consumer business in the Philippines.

UnionBank’s shares climbed by 30 centavos or 0.73% to end at P41.50 apiece on Thursday. — A.M.C. Sy