Fund Buyer Focus publishes FB50 2013

25 March 2013
By Fund Buyer Focus

BlackRock retains crown of top European asset management brand – BlackRock gains from having sufficient scale to be able to offer a product to suit every appetite. Its footprint in the delivery of passive products and physically replictaed ETFs at a time when intermediaries are beginning to recognize pricing pressures helped boost the group’s status in 2012.

With investor confidence beginning to bud, product quality was the biggest driver in the selection process

Once again product quality issues became a key determinant of brand success and was the issue that helped most groups that rose in the rankings. In the asset management arena product quality has the greatest impact on fund selection when investors and their advisers are positive about market direction.

Appetite for high yield boosted Pictet, Aberdeen and AXA

All three groups benefited from strong products in the high yield and emerging markets arena and appetite for these products helped boost their overall brand ranking. Pictet’s position was also improved by a strong awareness boost from French selectors.

M&G and Aberdeen look set for further brand progress in 2013

Both groups are in demand and look set to improve their brand scores in 2013. Fund selectors voted Aberdeen and M&G into first and second spots as groups with which they expected or hoped to develop a new distribution relationship in the next 12 months.

PIMCO generated the strongest sales flows, but ranked tenth strongest brand

Brand takes time to build and PIMCO remains a relative newcomer in the retail arena. Now measured separately from parent group, Allianz, PIMCO’s brand strength was boosted by its standing in Italy and Spain (fifth and fourth position), and its established reputation in Switzerland.

French groups lead the boutique brand rankings

Financière de l’Echiquier and DNCA Finance, both from France, topped the boutique brand ranking table. Financière de l’Echiquier has built up an unrivalled reputation based on product and service qualities. Although both groups are focussed on their local market, their reputation shows signs of spreading wider with non-French selectors looking at their funds.

Boutiques score surprisingly well on fund pricing issues

Contrary to common perception the funds of boutique brands are seen by fund selectors to be well priced or even low cost. Ultimately these small-scale operators are able to work very closely with their suppliers and are therefore more sensitive to pricing pressures.

Open architecture practices encourage competition from bank owned-groups

It is evident from the local brand tables that those markets with open architecture business models also support a number of strong bank-owned asset manager brands in the third party arena. Germany is an example with DWS and Allianz the top local brands.