Around the Industry: Matthews Asia

by on Sep 19, 2013

Our Around the Industry series reviews the public websites and digital resources offered by leading financial services firms that fall outside of
our Monitor Services coverage groups. To access the full archive of Around the Industry reviews,
click here.

Matthews International Capital Management was founded in 1991 with a singular focus on investing in the burgeoning Asian markets of the time.matthewsasia_logo Since then, the firm has become more casually known as Matthews Asia Funds and manages around $23.8 billion across Asian and Australian markets. This article will review the firm’s public investor site, which presents itself as a great resource for learning about Asian economies and market conditions, in addition to other standout qualities.

Homepage
Matthews’ homepage has a fairly traditional appearance. It features a set of scrolling banner images promoting the firm’s latest commentaries and special features. Below these, the page includes four columns that showcase the firm’s latest Asia Insight and AsiaNow thought leadership series in addition to new press releases and shareholder updates. This kind of homepage is common to many sites in the industry, but Matthews’ stands out on the strength of its vibrant Asian-themed artwork, which sells the firm’s niche position and gives the site a unique look.

 

Matthews Asia Homepage
Matthews Asia Homepage
Fund Profiles
In short, the site’s fund profiles are quite good. In keeping with the firm’s niche, each fund profile features a map of Asia and Australia that quickly identifies which countries the fund invests in. Complementing this unique feature, the profiles also includes high-quality performance data – such as quarterly and monthly data and a hypothetical growth chart – that employs smart animation and visual design to give the data certain vibrancy not found on many other sites. Each fund profile prominently offers users the option to browse an accompanying Fact Sheet, which present quarterly performance details in a more concise (but less dynamic) format.

 

 

Fund Profile Map Overview (Truncated)
Fund Profile Map Overview (Truncated) 
 

Fund Profile Performance Data
 Fund Profile Performance Data
Commentaries
As mentioned before, Matthews Asia positions its site as a key resource for education and research about Asian markets, economics and politics. This focus really pays off in the firm’s excellent commentary and thought leadership offerings. The firm maintains a number of regular commentary series, each covering different topics within the broader Asian economic landscape. The flagship Asia Insight series chooses a single topic for more detailed exploration. For example, this month’s focus is on Asian labor market conditions, while last month explored the future of Japanese fiscal policy. AsiaNow is a more expansive but less frequent feature that focuses on the region’s most pressing economic and political issues. The currentFrontier Issue is available as an e-book, a rare and feature-rich format offered by only a few firms in our regular Mutual Fund Monitor and Advisor Monitor coverage. The firm also produces Asia Weekly and Asia Market Performance, which are its most frequent and topical, but less in-depth, publications.

 

AsiaNow E-Book and Interface
AsiaNow E-Book and Interface
Closing Thoughts
Matthews Asia Funds occupies a very interesting niche in the investment landscape, which is a trait shared by plenty of other firms profiled in the Around the Industry series. However, none of the other firms express and own their given areas of expertise to quite the same degree that Matthews does. The firm’s excellent commentary resources are the obvious standout here, but the rest of the site – notably the quality fund profiles and homepage – are also strong. All told, Matthews’ site is a decidedly positive entry on the online asset management landscape.