AFTER HITTING P83 billion worth of assets under management (AUMs) to date amid more investors investing through mutual funds, Sun Life Asset Management Co., Inc. (SLAMCI) is bullish they can hit P100 billion worth of AUMs this year.

The firm is also positive the continued interest from millennials is a sign of better financial literacy in the country.

“We’re hoping we can reach mga (around) P100 billion this year [in AUMs],” SLAMCI President Valerie N. Pama told BusinessWorld in an interview on the sidelines of the launch of the second season of their Make it Mutual Campaign held in Quezon City.

“We started last year at P55 [billion] then we ended at P79.5 [billion]. So that’s around 20-plus percent growth,” she added.

According to SLAMCI Chief Marketing Officer Mylene D. Lopa, investments in mutual funds or in unit investment trust funds (UITFs) are still “much lower” relative to those stored in banks’ time deposit (TD) schemes.

“However, the growth of mutual funds…over the past few years is really encouraging,” she said in a speech during the event.

She cited data from the Philippine Investment Fund Association (PIFA) which showed that investments in TDs have grown by 19% to P2.943 trillion in 2019 from just P605.06 billion in 2010.

Meanwhile, investments in UITFs stood at P562.682 billion as of last year, growing by 18% from P124.46 billion back in 2010.

On the other hand, money in mutual funds including long term negotiable certificates of deposit jumped by 13% to P284.14 billion in the previous year from P95.68 billion in 2010. Of this amount, SLAMCI’s AUMs grew by 17% to P79.51 billion as of end-2019 from only P19.37 billion nine years ago.

“We now have over 140,000 unique investors and some of those that have multiple investment accounts with us,” Ms. Lopa said.

Latest data from SLAMCI presented by Ms. Lopa showed 66% of their investors are female while 34% are male. Moreover, investors who are 36 to 55 years old or members of Generation X make up 47% or the biggest chunk of their investor pool.

“And the other encouraging statistics here is that a third of our investors are millennials. That really tells us that the younger generation is now becoming more financially aware or financially responsible” she added.

SLAMCI’s investors, according to Ms. Lopa, are mostly into aggressive funds with higher risks but have possibly higher yields. She noted that 28% opt for equity funds while 22% choose to put their money in index funds.

In her speech, Ms. Pama also noted that the past year marked the launch of some of their key product offerings which include the Sun Life Prosperity Achiever Fund, the first target date mutual fund launched in the country.

SLAMCI is the largest nonbank affiliated asset management company in the country in terms of AUMs. They manage 10 peso-denominated funds and five dollar-denominated funds. — Luz Wendy T. Noble