BDO Trust Group reaches P1-trillion mark in assets amid the pandemic

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BDO Unibank’s Trust Group breached the P1-trillion mark in assets under management (AUM) because of the strong performance of its unit investment trust fund (UITF) business.

AUM is the total market value of the securities a financial institution manages on behalf of its clients.

Rafael Ayuste Jr., BDO senior vice president and trust officer, said the Group’s UITF business posted close to 35% growth as of end-September 2020. Clients flocked to the product due to its ready availability for both subscriptions and redemptions as well as the ease of access through the branches and even online.  

“We saw the UITF volumes increase substantially despite the pandemic. The clients see and appreciate the opportunities that the current market presents which will potentially result to significant growth in their investment returns as the market recovers,” he said.

BDO Trust offers various peso- and dollar-denominated UITFs designed to meet the diverse objectives and risk appetites of investors to grow their portfolio earnings. For only P10,000, investors can already invest in any of BDO’s peso-denominated UITFs such as the Peso Money Market, Peso Bond and Equity Index Funds. For dollar-denominated UITFs, an investor only needs to shell out US$500 to start investing in Dollar Money Market Fund, Medium Term Dollar Bond Fund or any of the Global Feeder Funds.

The bank also has the Easy Investment Plan (EIP) where investors can shell out as low as P1,000 per month to gradually build up their wealth to reach their financial goals. The EIP is BDO’s way to encourage Filipinos to develop an “investing” mindset to ensure stability of their future or even just to build an emergency fund.  The pandemic opened up the eyes of everyone on the need to be well prepared for emergencies, and the EIP can also be used for the purpose of “cost averaging” through a disciplined and regular approach to investing

Investors can also turn to BDO’s Invest Online Facility, an internationally recognized online platform, for easy access to the bank’s UITFs; enrollment in an automatic savings and investment program through EIP; management of the EIP details; checking of the performances of the UITF investments; and cashing in of the UITF investments booked via Invest Online.

Ayuste said majority of its clients moved their funds to the relative safety and security of money market funds given the effect of the COVID-19 lockdown to the financial market.

¨This way they are able to generate positive albeit lower returns particularly during the height of the pandemic when there was so much uncertainty. We have likewise seen some long-term clients factoring in recovery and are taking the opportunity to buy more equities at current market prices which really presents great upside potential,” he noted.

Even with the prevailing health crisis, BDO was determined to embark on aggressive efforts despite the crisis to increase penetration of the client base, and to maintain, if not to further increase, its market share pegged currently at 25%.

¨We continue to enhance our product and service delivery to ensure ease of access and simplification of client experience,” explained Ayuste.

UITFs are ready-made investments that allow the pooling of funds from different investors with similar investment objectives. These funds are managed by professional fund managers and are invested in various financial instruments such as money market securities, bonds and equities, which offer higher return than traditional bank deposit products.

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