Fund Selection category

Knowledge is power… the rise of the Analyst

October 14, 2020

An Article by Roland Meerdter Managing Director at Propinquity Advisors

Roland Meerdter, Managing Director at Propinquity Advisors will speak at FundForum USA

Through the market turmoil and rapid evolution in the asset management industry over the last several years, one thing remains crystal clear. Decisions about the buying and selling of investment product are increasingly concentrated in the hands of manager research analysts.

Collectively, the global group of analysts who work within broker/ dealers, banks, RIAs, institutional consulting firms and other financial intermediaries are arguably the key client group for asset managers. Their opinions drive a sizable (and growing) percentage of the overall worldwide flows into and out of funds.

Given changes in regulatory environments, a fiercely competition landscape and the increased complexity of the investment environment, professional buyers using a highly sophisticated institutional selection process will eventually be the norm worldwide. Successful asset managers are structuring their organizations to prepare and capitalize on this development.

The strengthening role of the analyst is driving asset managers to reevaluate their approach to selling and supporting their products. Asset managers are using robust strategies for liaising with analysts and ensuring their needs are met.

Well-equipped and ultimately successful asset management firms understand the selection process and the mindset of the analysts who are responsible for driving a major portion of worldwide flows. They understand that developing strong relationships with analyst teams is a tremendous leverage point for their business.

These managers provide information and support that goes well beyond a factsheet and market commentary. They anticipate the need to support the analyst during shifting market phases and through changes in the investment product. They recognize that presenting to an analyst is not a sales pitch but a dialogue with a knowledgeable counterpart who a tremendous level of information at his or her fingertips.

Such managers recognize the particular challenges of the analysts’ job and seek to alleviate some of the pressure points through timely flows of information, with honesty and transparency.

Analysts tend to be a highly skeptical buyer group who work within an environment that is performance-driven, risk adverse and highly regulated – a complicated combination. Analysts don’t take kindly to being given the ‘hard sell’. They follow a structured decision making process and, in order to do so, need to have access to clear and concise sources of information about the investment product in view.

There are, as most recognize, already far more investment products available then are needed. Nonetheless, worldwide product proliferation is at an all time high. Further, the growing complexity of a new generation of products requires analysts perform sophisticated and careful analysis to get comfortable enough to render an opinion.

The converging of aspects of what once were called ‘alternative’ and ‘traditional’ are leading to an evolved playing field for managers and analysts alike. Complicating manners further, the commonly used approach to asset allocation and the theoretically tenets upon which it is based are being eroded at a rapid rate.

At the same time, the strength of ETFs, structured products, and a variety of other wrappers has pushed the competitive landscape for asset managers to new levels.

‘Post-crisis’, fund analysts are demanding even more from asset managers. The products they are interested in buying display attributes distinguishing them from successful products of the past. Innovative managers who can prove that they have the sustainable skills to develop and manage these products and service the sophisticated needs of analysts stand to gain; others will be left behind.

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Roland Meerdter will moderate a panel of Fund Selectors debating “What product attributes appeal to the post-crisis fund buyer and what really influences the buying decisions?” at FundForum USA 2010 on November 1 at 11.40 am.

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About Roland Meerdter, Managing Director at Propinquity Advisors.

Roland Meerdter is the founder of Propinquity Advisors - a consultancy providing asset managers with advice and guidance from the perspective of the professional buyer.  Prior to his current role, Mr Meerdter was the Managing Director and global head of fund selection for Deutsche Bank.  Over the last decade, Mr Meerdter has reviewed , analyzed  and interviewed thousands of managers around the globe.  He was worked extensively in both the US and Europe.  He is an industry thought leader in a range of tropics including fund research/ selection methodology, convergence of alternative and traditional investment approaches and global distribution.


Post Under: Fund Selection

Spotlight Series: Anne Richards, CIO, Aberdeen Asset Management at FundForum International 2010

July 26, 2020

Anne Richards, CIO, ABERDEEN ASSET MANAGEMENT participated in a panel debate on new asset allocation models for fund selectors at FundForum International 2010 with fellow CIO panellists Rick Lacaille, STATE STREET GLOBAL ADVISORS and  Christian Dargnat, BNP PARIBAS INVESTMENT PARTNERS and moderated by  Amin Rajan, CEO, CREATE-RESEARCH.

In an interview for the Spotlight Series, Anne discussed the double-edged sword that is volatility.  Government bonds have responded well but the Equities Market, with renewed fears about Greece, has experienced more difficulties.  Even in this market, there is more optimism (however cautious) than 12 months ago.

The real growth opportunities can be seen in Asia and Emerging Market economies where the fiscal situation is much better than most of the domestic markets.  Interest is growing in both Emerging Market Debt and Asian Fixed Income.

For the end investor, the key challenge is to responsibly inform them so they understand that volatility is a feature of all investment.  If they have chosen the correct strategy, a little volatility shouldn’t be an issue.  We must avoid the knee-jerk reactions of Q4 2008 (after Lehman’s), when investors panicked, sold out at the bottom of the market and then couldn’t benefit from market improvements in 2009.

FundForum International 2010 - an overview

June 24, 2020

An Article by Beverly Chandler.

Beverly Chandler will be covering FundForum International 2010, 28 June - 2 July in Monaco

The European asset management industry had just earned a brief moment to draw breath and evaluate where it was at the end of the prolonged period of upheaval caused by the sub-prime crisis when, lo and behold, along came violent volatility caused by continuing fears of credit risk across Europe.

These spread from Greece, but panic is, as we have seen, contagious, and fears have threatened to spread through the Euro zones in Spain, Portugal, Ireland, and into the Sterling-led UK to any European country that has a cripplingly high level of national debt.

The sub-prime crisis sparked off other dramas. We appear to have forgotten Dubai and its many financial problems which have been swept under the UAE carpet but played its part in rocking financial markets earlier this year.

Against the backdrop of loss and indebtedness, we have our perennial Western problem of an ageing population.  The question of who will fund the retirement years of a population dominated by people retired, not working, has been at the heart of a push to achieve above average investment returns for at least 20 years. Our original pension model of today’s workers funding today’s retired was predicated on a healthy balance of the two, the current and ex-workforce.  Demographics have put paid to that.

And where perhaps before, saving a portion of your income as a matter of course was embedded in a national psyche that had come through two world wars and a great depression, saving went right out of fashion.  Particularly in the UK where there always seemed to be another easier source of capital available to give you that money in the bank feeling which fuelled the ‘I’m worth it’ generations into spending more than they earned, often borrowed at easy  interest rates.

Within the UK, that money came from the UK’s flourishing property market where everyone it seemed could buy a house, make a quick return on it and move on. In an even more extraordinary extension of that pattern, ordinary people with no background in property development or property investment could build up a portfolio of properties and let them at a profit to others who were just waiting to get onto the same cycle.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that savings rates need to go up, in every sense of the phrase – we need to save more but we also need to earn a greater reward for saving. While interest rates remain dismally low for savers, they need to look elsewhere for returns on their money.  Across Europe, despite the shock and awe and the volatility experienced by those invested in equities over recent years who experienced a massive loss, a massive rally and then quite a bit of both, many traditional fund groups have experienced net inflows over the last year.

We live now in a financial world where neither banks nor governments have the appetite or the resources to lend money any more. Net inflows into funds suggest that investors are choosing investment in funds to secure their futures.  Actively managed funds, achieving better returns than those available on deposit, are what is needed to encourage investors to save and to offer them returns that are worthy of that effort.  The investment industry in its widest definition is at a crucial point in this process and must step up and produce the returns that will secure the financial security of future generations.

About Beverly Chandler

Beverly Chandler has been a specialist financial writer for a number of years, writing for most of the trade press, a number of national newspapers and publishing a couple of books on the Hedge Fund industry.  She will be covering the FundForum International 2010 conference, producing a daily digest of the key outtakes from the event, and interviewing speakers & delegates about prevailing industry trends, their views of the future and why FundForum International is the “must attend” conference in the annual calendar.

Who will you meet next week at FundForum International 2010 in Monaco?

June 21, 2020

The who’s who of the asset management industry will be in Monaco from 28th June - 2nd July attending the 20th Annual FundForum International 2010

PLUS: joining the unbeatable line-up of over 160+ senior expert speakers are:

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Lord Myners, CBE, former UK Financial Services Secretary

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“The Myners Interview with Paul Marshall, Marshall Wace will focus on the Hedge Fund view of the future of the Funds Space and the role of alternatives in the Retail World “

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Jamie Broderick, J.P. Morgan Asset Management Europe

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“An Insider’s perspective on how Asset Management can become a vibrant , useful and profitable industry”

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Juan Alcaraz, Santander Asset Management

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“participating in an expert panel discussion on the ‘Path to regaining Investor trust in Asset Management’ “

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Massimo Tosato, Schroders

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“speaking on the challenges of building a customer-centric business to sustain future profits”

Over 1000+ Senior Asset Managers, Fund Selectors and Advisers are confirmed including

SEB Wealth Management * Erste-Sparinvest KAG * Alter Capital * martInvestments * LV Asset Management * Citi Private Bank * Danske Bank * Caja Ingenieros Gestion * Vantis Financial Management * DWS Investments * AXA MPS Financial Limited * Finance-Doc Multimanagement * Calastone Limited * Coeli AB * Skandia Fonder AB * Societe Generale Private Banking * GDP AM Sim S.p.A * Godvig Capital * LGT Capital Management * Christian Philippsen * Allfunds Bank * max.xs Financial Services AG * Quantis Investment Management * Ålandsbanken Sverige AB * Santander Asset Management * Barclays Wealth * Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch & Cie * Invesco * Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management * Thames River Capital * Citi * F&C Investments * A.A.Advisors * Standard Life Group plc * Legal & General * Banco Inversis * Towry Law * Nextam Partners * Nordea Investment Funds * HSBC Multi-Manager Investments * Unicredit Private Bank * LGT Capital Management * PFA Pension * Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank * FundQuest UK * Carrington Wealth Management * Lansforsakringar Asset Management * Architas * Pioneer Investments * Deutsche Bank Private Wealth * London Pension Fund Authority * Deutsche Bank AG * London Pension Fund Authority * ABN AMRO Private Bank * Skandia Investment Group * Citi Global Consumer Group EMEA and many more…

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Make Contact & Set Up Meetings Now on FundForum e-Networker

♦ Now Live! Investor Search Criteria now live on – find the investors interested in your strategies, contact them and set up meetings! Now Blackberry and iPhone enabled to help you find investors and set up meetings while at the event too.

♦ Now Live! FundForum International  e-Networker delegate list: See who is attending, update your profile and schedule meetings ahead of the event!

Fund Selection and the Art of Communication

June 9, 2020

An article by Niklas Tell, Tell Media Group.

Niklas Tell, will be speaking at FundForum International 2010 (28 June - 2 July) in Monaco

Do you think fund- and manager selection is as much about understanding people and their choices – past and present as well as future choices – as it is about strict financial research? I do and that is why I believe that communication is such a crucial factor for fund groups to get right.

The importance of communication is one of the things highlighted in our latest research on the Nordic fund selection market. Some 62 percent of respondents to our survey say they think high quality investment writers (i.e. investment writers producing high quality Request for Proposals (RFPs)) are either important or very important. One selector highlights “Short, precise but still thorough answers in RFPs” as one of the three most important topics right now.

The importance of communication is also reflected in the answers to a question on the importance of local presence. Most say it is not important, reflecting the fact that fund selectors can communicate effectively with fund companies anyway. But, local presence is important for those selectors who are looking for new managers to unit linked platforms and other retail focused vehicles. There it comes down to the ability to engage and communicate with the end client.

Conclusion? You cannot satisfy everyone, but I am sure you can satisfy most by having a structured and solid communication strategy. In essence it is about making sure that company history, strategy and in-house capabilities match the overall market- and communication strategy. Too many company profiles and fund presentations are too similar today. Or as recently stated by Seth Godin;

“Most people work hard to find artful ways to say very little…..  why not work harder to think of something remarkable or important to say in the first place?”

Snapshot of other findings in our Nordic fund selection research:

  • A majority of selectors in our survey are focusing only on fund- and manager selection, while some 46 % also do asset allocation.
  • A clear majority of selectors in the Nordic region think of their profession in terms of finding alpha, rather than finding the right beta.
  • Some 69 percent of selectors spend more than half of their time on qualitative analysis and of those 15 percent spend more than 75 percent of their time on this.
  • Thanks to an early mover advantage and strong local presence Morningstar have attracted most clients among the selectors in this survey. Other favoured services are Bloomberg and Mercer (GIMD).

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About Niklas Tell, Head of Research, TELL MEDIA GROUP.

Niklas Tell is Partner and Head of Research for Tell Media Group, the Swedish based research and publishing company.  Follow his blog at www.fundselection.org/blog.

The complete findings from this research, which is based a survey compiled by Tell Media Group, will be published in the Nordic Fund Selection Journal, which will be distributed at the FundForum International 2010 in Monaco. It will also serve as input for a panel debate with Nordic fund selectors moderated by Niklas at the conference on June 29 at 4.30pm.

Welcome to the FundForum blog

May 11, 2020

FundForum is a series of “must attend” events in the mutual fund industry.  The International event celebrates its 20th year this year, in Monaco, on 28 June - 2nd July.  Sister events like FundForum Latin America and FundForum Middle East bring the same quality and depth of content with a localised flavour.

Our blog is a great place for you to gather the latest views from the industry and is aimed at bridging the information and networking gap between our annual conferences. Through this blog, we will keep you updated on our latest research, industry and event news.  We invite you to comment on our articles and share your views.

If you would like to be a guest columnist please contact Jennifer Flynn at [email protected].  If you would like to speak at one of our events, please contact Jenny Adams at [email protected].



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