Blog

  • Can you afford not to care?

    Swedish asset managers had more than just Mifid 2 to think about as 2018 dawned – January also saw the implementation of a new rule forcing funds there to report their management of various sustainability aspects. Along with a handful of other countries, Sweden has long been at the cutting edge of sustainable investment in Europe, and this takes it …

    Brand, Fund Selectors, Millennials, Regulation, Responsible investing

  • Are Building-Block Funds on the Scrap Heap?

    The world of mutual funds is often divided into competing categories. Typical distinctions include equity vs. bond, active vs. passive, and proprietary vs. third-party distribution.

    building-block, outcomes, positive net sales

  • The active-pricing conundrum

    Europe’s passive funds are stealing the spotlight from their active rivals. They have grabbed a huge share of the net flows resulting from a ballooning choice of products coupled with a favourable regulatory environment.

    Fees, Passive

  • New burdens on the horizon

    If you thought it was all over with Mifid 2, not so. The ever-evolving world of regulation and responsibilities is entering a new phase, and it’s one that will concern many asset-management stakeholders. It’s no more than a draft at the moment but it reveals a clear intention by the European Commission to boost the powers of centralised supervisory authorities …

    CMU, Esma, Mifid 2, Regulation

  • Micro machines

    Asset managers benefit from a growing savings pool – but they could arguably do much more to encourage Europe’s savers to put aside additional money for the future. Instead it seems that a new crop of fintech platforms is performing this role, with the focus on small-scale deposits. Mark Phasey gives his take on a foray into micro-investing…

    Disruption, Fintech, Millennials, Savings

  • Winner takes all – myth or reality?

    Received wisdom is that major asset managers are taking ever-larger bites out of the investment pie, leaving smaller players to lick around the edges of the bowl; if you are small – or even mid sized – you may as well pack away your knife and fork and go home. Increasing regulations, shortening buy lists, the rise of passive investment …

    Giants, Myth, Winner-takes-all

  • Deutsche AM – cause for optimism?

    ‘What makes us different is our independence.’ I’ve lost count of the number of asset-management firms that have told me that. Which rather disproves their point.

    Brand, Deutsche AM, Independence

  • You can’t eat beta

    Whatever the question, passive, it would seem, is the answer – at least in today’s fund management industry. Regulators, the media, consumer groups and Warren Buffetophiles have all fallen head over tip-sheets in love with passives. The argument runs that passive funds are both cheap and simple to understand, whereas active has underperformed, is opaque and expensive. It therefore follows …

    Beta, Client needs, Passive, Volatility

  • In funds we trust?

    After the curveball result of the Brexit referendum, I can’t say I was completely surprised at Donald Trump’s US election victory, though given his ambition to shake up many established features of the world order, it still came as a bit of a shock. As he takes up the reins of the world’s largest economy, the exact direction of his …

    Investor Education, Savings, Transparency

  • Lessons from the world of whisky

    I was lucky enough to be invited to present at a client’s offsite meeting at the Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) in Edinburgh recently. After an hour’s engaging discussion, I had some time to kill before catching a train home. I was unsure when I would next be in the presence of so many fine whiskies, so it seemed only …

    Brand, Marketing, Sub-advisory, Transparency

  • Above-par investment?

    As the Ryder Cup gets into full swing, the world of golf and the competition’s select sponsors are firmly in the spotlight. After shrewdly securing a worldwide partnership deal for the 2014 and 2016 events, Edinburgh-based Standard Life Investments has a front-row seat to support its global brand strategy while 12 of Europe’s top golfers take on the best that …

    Brand, Marketing, Sponsorship, Sport

  • Sub-advising to success

    Running a fund comes with plenty of challenges, not least the management of its investment strategy – arguably the central pillar of its raison d’être. While it is understandable that many fund managers would want to keep decisions related to a fund’s holdings and future direction completely in-house, there are compelling reasons to outsource this function in advance of Mifid …

    Fees, Fund Selectors, Mifid 2, Regulation, Sub-advisory

  • Millennial investors: best to tweet a cat meme and laugh?

    In her February article, ‘Why millennials go on holiday instead of saving for a pension’, Aime Williams of the Financial Times set off a Twitter storm of unprecedented proportions (well, at least by the standards of the FT’s greyer-haired readers) with more than 10,000 people clicking though to the article from Twitter alone. A lively debate ensued, involving much incredulity, …

    Investor Education, Millennials, Transparency

  • The perils of cash

    Europeans’ addiction to cash has cost them billions of euros in potential investment performance over the last five years. But what is the asset management industry doing to encourage greater engagement at a time when governments are looking for ways of transferring the responsibility for financial health in retirement onto the shoulders of their citizens?

    Fund Forecasts, Investor Education, Risk, Savings

  • Hacking through the Mifid 2 jungle

    The Mifid 2 Level 2 guidance is now available for digestion by the asset management industry, clarifying a variety of issues. Sheenagh Gordon-Hart provides the initial Fund Radar take on the latest chapter of the forthcoming directive.

    Fund Forecasts, Mifid 2, Regulation

  • Having your cake and eating it

    We’ve all experienced the bitter taste of getting something that fell short of what we paid for. Like any consumer, investors are just as susceptible to such disappointment. How to prevent this is one of the many discussions currently underway in asset management circles, in the guise of active share. But is this really an optimal way of establishing that …

    Active Share, Benchmarks, Performance Fees

  • Find your inner truffle hog!

    ‘Find your inner truffle hog!’ was the rallying call of Dr Bert Flossbach, CEO of German asset manager Flossbach von Storch, during an entertaining and eye-opening presentation at the FONDS professionell conference in Mannheim in late January. He wasn’t addressing an audience of exotic-fungus hunters in need of some spiritual guidance, but rather a roomful of predominantly German fund selectors …

    Absolute Return, Fund Selectors, Investor Education, Risk

  • Anyone can be a portfolio manager

    Austrian start-up Wikifolio is a fascinating example of technological disruption in the asset management industry, allowing individuals to have their own investment strategies securitised and followed by other investors. Financial journalist Anke Dembowski gives her take on this innovative way of investing.

    Disruption, Fintech, Transparency

  • Dawn of a new year

    What a difference a year makes. In January last year European asset managers could happily look forward to a year of strong sales flows. Retail clients, after their extended post-financial-crisis absence were back in the game. Low interest rates had worked their magic, finally forcing retail clients out of their deposit account comfort zone. And, for the first four months, …

    Fund Forecasts

    • New burdens on the horizon

      If you thought it was all over with Mifid 2, not so. The ever-evolving world of regulation and responsibilities is entering a new phase, and it’s one that will concern many asset-management stakeholders. It’s no more than a draft at the moment but it reveals a clear intention …

    • Micro machines

      Asset managers benefit from a growing savings pool – but they could arguably do much more to encourage Europe’s savers to put aside additional money for the future. Instead it seems that a new crop of fintech platforms is performing this role, with the focus on small-scale deposits. …

    • Winner takes all – myth or reality?

      Received wisdom is that major asset managers are taking ever-larger bites out of the investment pie, leaving smaller players to lick around the edges of the bowl; if you are small – or even mid sized – you may as well pack away your knife and fork and …

    • Deutsche AM – cause for optimism?

      ‘What makes us different is our independence.’ I’ve lost count of the number of asset-management firms that have told me that. Which rather disproves their point.

    • You can’t eat beta

      Whatever the question, passive, it would seem, is the answer – at least in today’s fund management industry. Regulators, the media, consumer groups and Warren Buffetophiles have all fallen head over tip-sheets in love with passives. The argument runs that passive funds are both cheap and simple to …

    • In funds we trust?

      After the curveball result of the Brexit referendum, I can’t say I was completely surprised at Donald Trump’s US election victory, though given his ambition to shake up many established features of the world order, it still came as a bit of a shock. As he takes up …

    • Lessons from the world of whisky

      I was lucky enough to be invited to present at a client’s offsite meeting at the Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) in Edinburgh recently. After an hour’s engaging discussion, I had some time to kill before catching a train home. I was unsure when I would next be …

    • Above-par investment?

      As the Ryder Cup gets into full swing, the world of golf and the competition’s select sponsors are firmly in the spotlight. After shrewdly securing a worldwide partnership deal for the 2014 and 2016 events, Edinburgh-based Standard Life Investments has a front-row seat to support its global brand …

    • Sub-advising to success

      Running a fund comes with plenty of challenges, not least the management of its investment strategy – arguably the central pillar of its raison d’être. While it is understandable that many fund managers would want to keep decisions related to a fund’s holdings and future direction completely in-house, …

    • Having your cake and eating it

      We’ve all experienced the bitter taste of getting something that fell short of what we paid for. Like any consumer, investors are just as susceptible to such disappointment. How to prevent this is one of the many discussions currently underway in asset management circles, in the guise of …

    • Find your inner truffle hog!

      ‘Find your inner truffle hog!’ was the rallying call of Dr Bert Flossbach, CEO of German asset manager Flossbach von Storch, during an entertaining and eye-opening presentation at the FONDS professionell conference in Mannheim in late January. He wasn’t addressing an audience of exotic-fungus hunters in need of …

    • Anyone can be a portfolio manager

      Austrian start-up Wikifolio is a fascinating example of technological disruption in the asset management industry, allowing individuals to have their own investment strategies securitised and followed by other investors. Financial journalist Anke Dembowski gives her take on this innovative way of investing.

    • Dawn of a new year

      What a difference a year makes. In January last year European asset managers could happily look forward to a year of strong sales flows. Retail clients, after their extended post-financial-crisis absence were back in the game. Low interest rates had worked their magic, finally forcing retail clients out …