Mood of the month

Fairly optimistic
The European fund buyer’s mood index kept dropping also in March reaching after 64.1 points (from 65.3 points in February). The downtrend was mainly driven by France and Belgium/Lux where only 44.4% and 26.6% of the interviewed fund buyers respectively declared to be optimistic over the next 12 months. On the other hand, in despite the hung parliament resulted from the local elections, the Italian fund selectors confirmed their positive view with 72.7% optimistic and even 18.2% very optimistic responses about the next future.

Distributor commentary

For the week ending 13th April 2018
  • “I expect a disintermediation, so I am pessimistic about that with greater transparency about costs a lot of people will go without an advice function and will go execution only. So we focus more on our private banking side, so less advice and brokerage and more discretionary management and our own funds. From the providers I'd like to see clear communications about costs and if they help us compute or calculate the difficult data that we have to deliver to our clients that would be helpful.”

    Drivers of change
    Belgium, Private client portfolios - Discretionary
  • “Trump will turn out to be very good for the world. He is creating change in a country which has been stagnant from a decade or more. Even if he does not seem to have a clue what he is doing he is at the very least acting as a catalyst for change if nothing else. It is similar to what has happened here in the UK with Brexit. Previously we weren't in control, we were being pressured by the EU and now we are not. Finally looking at China I think there is a huge paradigm shift taking place at the moment. They have moved from an imitation to innovation position, and are now in possession of the smartest and hardest working people, and moreover have a Government that actively wants to drive change. Others may not like it, but it is happening nonetheless.”

    Drivers of change
    United Kingdom, Private client portfolios - Discretionary
  • “I think that looking about the environment, so sustainability I think is a very important issue in the Netherlands. For example, if you have some automotive funds, it's happened with Volkswagen, then we skip all the automotive. So I think it can be a really important issue. So the providers being pro-active about what they do about environmental behaviour and sustainability, to think about the future and to think about how to react to what is happening in the world.”

    Drivers of change
    Netherlands, Private client portfolios - Advisory
  • “The growing use of ETFs, which is aided by the increased digitisation, will be the most important driver for change within the fund industry. Our company is increasingly moving towards this sector for strategic reasons because it makes it easier to actively manage our portfolio with passive elements.”

    Drivers of change
    Germany, Private client portfolios - Discretionary
  • “I would like to see genuine, undiluted product solutions. For example, if I want to invest in US government bonds, I don’t want to have 25% of corporate bonds in the portfolio to improve the performance. I want to be able to rely on clear product matrixes to see which investment sectors were really successful.”

    Product innovation requirements
    Austria, Funds of funds management
  • “Any reflection on pricing could change, either with clean shares or management fees or commissions on outperformance (already supervised by the AMF). Pricing has also become a big subject when it comes to whether management is truly active. We must therefore be on the lookout for these changes and their impact on the distribution model.”

    Drivers of change
    France, Private client portfolios - Discretionary

Holding onto the future

19 April 2018
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By Fiona Maciver

Fund-industry professionals and investors alike are often guilty of looking for short-term gains instead of long-term investment returns. The tide, though, may be changing as the cost of acquiring customers increases, and fund managers need to work harder to retain business and adapt to changing investor tastes. In our annual review of fundholding periods, we look at where

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