Mississauga, Ont.-based Excel Funds Management Inc. announced on Wednesday that it will be offering its emerging-markets investment strategies to institutional investors.

Excel Funds, which has offered retail investors a wide range of emerging market-focused mutual funds since 1998, is entering the institutional space because of the increasing interest from in emerging markets among these investors, says Bhim Asdhir, the firm’s president and CEO, in a statement.

“The seismic shift in the global economy, engendered by the dramatic rise of emerging markets, has opened new windows of opportunity for institutional investors seeking to capitalize on new growth opportunities,” he says. “We anticipate that the relative importance of emerging markets will accelerate over the next two decades given the exponential increase in their market capitalization, which is set to surpass that of developed markets.”

To assist with its expansion into the institutional market, Excel Funds has hired Christophe Vandewiele, a seasoned financial services professional with more than two decades of experience in the institutional and retail space, as vice president, institutional investments.

“I am delighted to be assisting Excel Funds with implementing its growth strategy in the institutional space. I believe emerging markets should be a core component of institutional portfolios and anticipate tremendous success in my new role,” says Vandewiele, who was head of institutional sales at Dexia Asset Management in Toronto before founding his own consulting practice, in the statement.

“I am particularly impressed with Excel Funds’ approach in making institutional investors aware of the opportunities in emerging markets,” he adds. “The company’s planned due diligence trip to India in early December, where investors will obtain first-hand experience of the country’s growth potential, get to visit some of the companies they invest in, and meet managers as well as key government and company officials, is a win-win for both the company and the investors who make the trip.”