Lujiazui, the commercial and financial center of Shanghai, plans to set up the Global Asset Management Association of Lujiazui (GAMAL) in the first half of this year.
On Tuesday, more than 60 global asset management institutions, including BlackRock, Fidelity International and J.P. Morgan, attended a preparatory meeting in Lujiazui.
The association aims to establish an exchange platform for global asset management institutions to help them set up in Lujiazui and understand China's asset management industry.
Yuan Yefeng, director of Lujiazui Financial City Authority's department for finance, shipping and innovation, told Xinhua that the association would attract more leading asset management organizations to do business in Shanghai.
Currently, more than 60 overseas asset management institutions have subsidiaries or plan to establish branches in Lujiazui. Nine of the top 10 global asset management institutions have wholly foreign-owned enterprises in Lujiazui.
By 2019, China will be the second largest asset management market in the world, with more than 17 trillion U.S. dollars of assets under management by 2030, up from 2.8 trillion dollars in 2016, according to Casey Quirk.
In September 2016, J.P. Morgan set up a wholly foreign-owned enterprise (WFOE) in Shanghai Free Trade Zone with the first WFOE asset management license in China.
The license allows a WFOE to offer onshore fixed income, equity, and multi-asset private funds to both institutional and high net worth investors in China.
"There was only member of staff when the WFOE was founded, but now there are 13. We are growing fast," said Zhou Lingling, deputy general manager with J.P. Morgan Asset Management (Shanghai) Ltd.
"We are confident of our performance in China and we will seize every chance in this market," said Zhou. She said China is expected to become the largest asset management market in the next five to 10 years.
"We are so glad to be a member of the coming Global Asset Management Association of Lujiazui. I believe it will be a great exchange platform for financial institutions like us," Zhou said.
In July last year, UBS Asset Management became the first international manager with a Qualified Domestic Limited Partner quota to receive a Private Fund Management license in China.
Given the license, UBS is able to provide a broad range of services to onshore and global investors, and to work more closely with subsidiaries of global firms in China to meet their domestic investment needs.
Gao Ting, head of China Strategy at UBS Securities Equity Research, said at the preparatory meeting that with China's efforts to open its capital markets to the world, A-shares will be included in the MSCI indices in June, making China's stock market more important for both onshore and offshore investors.
Meanwhile, Chen Ting, general manager with BlackRock Investment Management (Shanghai) Limited Company, also showed her passion for the Chinese market.
At the World Economic Forum in Davos in January, China reiterated its commitment to opening banking, securities and insurance sectors.
"Given the opening-up policies and the pleasant business environment, Lujiazui Financial City in Shanghai will be the first choice for global financial companies to do business in China," Chen said.
Global investment managers like J.P. Morgan and Vanguard are eyeing a share of China's public fund market as well as China's pension market, according to Chen.
"China plans to further open up the financial sector, which really means a lot to global market players. I hope foreign investment managers like us will be allowed to manage China's public fund in five to 10 years," she said.