Mood of the month

The European fund buyer’s mood index has plunged to 54.2 points since end of the August (57.6 pt). This downward trend has continued to be driven by Italian fund buyers as a result of the local political situation: only 25% of them say they are optimistic for the next 12 months. However, the flash crash on the US stock markets and the impasse of the Brexit negotiations also contributed to worsening the fund industry prospects, especially in the UK where 75% of fund selectors were neutral (25%) or pessimistic (50%) for the next 12 months, respectively.

Distributor commentary

For the week ending 16th November 2018
  • “Regulations will remain a very important factor and will increase European-wide. This will lead to a declining turnover of funds and higher costs for providers. In the next 1-3 years, external risks like political upheavals, market turbulences etc. will have a huge impact on the fund industry. The trade war with China springs to mind. This will paralyse turnover across the industry.”

    Drivers of change
    Germany, Retail Banking
  • “Artificial intelligence and robotics will have a definite impact, and this will influence fees. Today, questions are being raised over funds that cover a broad spectrum or that resemble ETFs. They are unlikely to be able to maintain such high margins because they don’t offer much upside and merely settle for the benchmark, which does not justify the high fees. Catch-all funds that have nothing really specific about them could be impacted or even replaced by the new investment techniques (robotics or AI).”

    Drivers of change
    France, Funds of funds management
  • “Kick-back fees, i.e. commissions for holding investments will disappear. I believe the increasing regulations and rising competition lie at the centre of this development. End-customers are becoming increasingly well informed – also because of the availability of information from different media makes it much easier to compare products.”

    Drivers of change
    Austria, Private client portfolios - Advisory
  • “I am interested in everything to do with high yield bonds, even if they aren’t all that fashionable at the moment. I would like to see communication on high yield carry strategies. Otherwise, I am interested emerging markets funds with very targeted country strategies, with India, Russia or Brazil, for example.”

    Product innovation requirements
    France, Private client portfolios - Advisory
  • “We currently witness enormous inflows into direct investments like real company shareholdings, venture capital and private equity compared to the entire fund industry. We are heavily investing in these areas which yield returns of 20 to 30%. However, these investments are limited to investors with account balances in the 7-digit range. I think it is important to develop products for the retail sector which invest in industries that enhance the growth of Germany as an economic location. There are relatively few products in the retail sector investing in infrastructure, real assets, etc.”

    Product innovation requirements
    Germany, Private client portfolios - Discretionary
  • “My impression is that some of the biggest fund houses, including BlackRock and Morgan Stanley, are turning towards the use of data-analysis-based algorithms. It's a type of innovation that I would be inclined to welcome only in the event that it was used in tandem or association with a non-automated analytical process ie, one carried out specialist professionals.”

    Innovative behaviour in fund industry
    Italy, Private client portfolios - Discretionary
  • “I expect the fund managers to act flexibly in rapidly and profoundly changing markets and environments. Volatility will increase. The changing regulatory requirements, especially in Europe, will create difficulties and challenges for the fund industry. They will particularly lead to increasing transparency and lower management costs for customers.”

    Drivers of change
    Austria, Independent financial advice / Intermediary services

Relationship management – The sum of the parts

28 November 2018
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By Fiona Maciver

Fund Buyer Focus’s annual review of asset managers’ sales and account management rankings reveals a few changes in the order of the cross-border rankings and distributors’ perceived strengths of the top groups. We also drill down into the attributes of the top-ranked asset managers and where firms should be targeting improvements to their sales processes.

Cross-border medal rankings


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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