Mood of the month

Fairly optimistic
The European fund buyers mood index climbed further reaching 66.7 points in May, 2.8 points more than the previous month. The positive climate was mainly driven by countries like Spain (79.2), Belgium/Lux (75) and Austria (70.8), while on the bottom side we found Sweden and Switzerland with 55 and 57.5 points respectively.

Distributor commentary

For the week ending 26th May 2017
  • “I would generally like to see more being done to expand the offering of alternative strategies on the fixed-income side. The fact is that this asset class is going to come under pressure from a general rise in interest rates, and we should not forget that fixed-income products continue to form the core constituent of the typical portfolio.”

    Product innovation requirements
    Italy, Private client portfolios - Advisory
  • “I think we need to widen the scope for smart beta style products and I am sure it is something I said last year as well. The drive for being able to flex your style (from value to growth, for instance) within a portfolio quickly, I think will become more important. That leads into ETFs and Trackers and things like that so it is about getting more innovation in those almost quant-like strategies. Access to stuff like that is what we will be probably looking at over the next 12-24 months.”

    Product innovation requirements
    United Kingdom, Private client portfolios - Discretionary
  • “The comprehensive regulations which are resulting in an ever-higher bureaucratization of the European institutions are going to have a huge influence on the fund industry. The new regulations like the investment taxation law, MiFID and the directives to Packaged Retail Investment Products (PRIP) which will come into force nearly all at once will keep a huge part of fund professionals busy for the implementation within their companies. Two thirds of our team will have to deal with the implementation of these directives, leaving one third for the day-to-day business.”

    Drivers of change
    Germany, Insurance - including unit-linked products
  • “I am somewhat pessimistic because costs are an issue in a low-yield environment. So, for fixed income it might become problematic. Investors will I think move out of funds and into single instruments like bonds. Active management will become more important in the future I think. Providers need to lower costs and provide lower thresholds for Institutional share classes.”

    Drivers of change
    Switzerland, Private client portfolios - Discretionary
  • “I would like to see new forms in which we could implement the investment of real assets. Innovative fund concepts like fund syndicates spring to mind via which retail investors could participate in form of closed funds in regulated markets like the construction of motorways, housing construction, etc.”

    Product innovation requirements
    Germany, Insurance - including unit-linked products
  • “We are seeing an increasing number of flexible products that attempt to find a happy medium, in performance terms, between the low-returns characteristics of pure fixed-income and the higher risk exposure of equity funds. Given that the typical client profile is conservative, that type of product is the best suited to fit the client's requirements.”

    Innovative behaviour in fund industry
    Spain, Private client portfolios - Advisory
  • “The cost factor will steer a lot of investors towards ETFs, which will lower margins. In order to compensate for the cost factor, managed portfolios will be made more widely available. A lot of customers won’t be able to afford financial advice any longer, and banks will not offer advice for investment volumes under a certain size. Therefore, automated strategies or automated managed portfolios will gain in significance. This will give an enormous push to robo-advice.”

    Drivers of change
    Germany, Fund supermarket / Online fund platform

Key ingredients to brand success

21 April 2017
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by Fiona Maciver

The increasing complexities of building and maintaining distribution capabilities across Europe are putting asset managers under more pressure to differentiate their business from that of rival firms. Brand performs an integral role in attracting and maintaining distribution relationships but asset managers need to strike the right balance of brand ingredients to achieve recognition and grow fruitful relationships with

Translate perception into business.

Fund Buyer Focus offers reporting and consulting services which provide third party retail fund suppliers with detailed information about how the major fund distributors perceive them and how this perception translates into business.

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