AMMF #65: A year of ETFs, fintech niches, Bitcoin memes

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Welcome to our asset management marketing focus

This week’s edition brings you views from the future, a year of ETFs, Christmas social media campaigns, and Bitcoin memes.

Movers & Shakers

Borja Fernandez-Galiano headshotBorja Fernández-Galiano
Is now ➜ Director of Institutional Sales at Dunas Capital
Was: Business Development Director at Carmignac Gestion

Further information: Investment Europe

Florian Mende
Is now ➜ Head of Wholesale at StarCapital AG
Was: Abteilungsdirektor at Fürstlich Castell’sche Bank
Further information: Investment Europe
Kurtosys expresses their best wishes to all starting in their new positions.

Website Spotlight: Psigma Investment Management

Some industry sites really do go all out with their attractive design, and a new entry into the pantheon of cool, sleek web packages is that of Psigma Investment Management.
There are many parts to the site’s homepage that stand out, with attention to detail paid to elements that other firms may overlook. For instance, Psigma’s vivid logo, complete with geometric shapes and shades of greens, blues and purples, looks excellent as a crisp SVG, and one will notice a very neat flourish of animation every now and again to make this stand out from the crowd.
This bold colour scheme bleeds its way throughout the site, yet never seems overbearing. The main carousel image is also animated, with a repeated short clip of bee leaving a field of lavender, with calls to action for the user to choose whether to view the company’s investment solutions or their investment philosophies.
These intricate design aspects extend to other areas on the page, including smart icons to display their AUM and private client relationships, and we are fond of the fact that they lend a large portion of their main offering to promote their wealth of video content.
Many of the main examples of good user experience are all present here too, including a large and clear toolbar, and search ahead functionality to browse the site in another way.
The other areas of the site retain high levels of great design, with downloadable literature available, and an excellent ‘Psigma voice’ page which segments the company’s video content, daily and weekly market updates, investment insights and blog content with aplomb, and photographic imagery that pops out with great use of white space, too.
Psigma’s site is a wonderful example of making a corporate website different from the rest, with its use of icons, photography, animation, and advanced functionality being particularly exemplary.

Fund in Focus: Nordea 1 – European Long/Short Equity Fund

Stockholm-xmasWhilst the fund name indicates just the inclusion of Nordea here, instead there’s more to this fund than meets the eye. It does, in fact, mark the first fund after their partnership with Madrague Capital Partners earlier this year, which saw the firm acquiring a 40% in the asset manager based in Stockholm.
The Nordea 1 – European Long/Short Equity Fund is a liquid alternative strategy, looking for yields higher than traditional fixed income products and low volatility. It will be managed by Madrague Capital Partners, and the investment team will be made up of five members. Amongst these are the founding partners who have worked together since 2012, when the company began. This team focuses on risk management, using their experience in the alternative space to secure the health of the portfolio despite sudden market corrections.
CEO of Nordea Asset Management, Nils Bolmstrand, had this to say about the new fund launch, which took place on 6 December 2018…
“After the announcement of our partnership with Madrague earlier this year we are very excited to have our first product from them. The realization of this partnership in conjunction with the launch of this fund has helped strengthen our alternatives offering.”
…and Lars Franstedt, CIO and portfolio manager at Madrague Capital Partners states:
“We are looking forward to the launch of our first fund together with Nordea. Our belief is that the investment profile of Madrague will be a good complement to the existing offering on the Nordea platform. Madrague is firmly committed to delivering a good risk-adjusted return to both our new and current investors.”
Further information: Nordea | Institutional Asset Manager

Fintech News: What the Future Holds

Prophecy-bitcoinWe’ve now arrived at a place that’s less than three weeks until 2019, and the predictions for finserv’s future keep rolling in.
One of the most prominent speculative issues is the state of Bitcoin; we’ve seen it reach its heady heights at the end of 2017, and therefore the bullish idea back then that 2018 would hold the key to Bitcoin being blown into the stratosphere. That’s certainly the idea that Didi Taihuttu upheld (as featured in AMMF #63), but the year has in fact thrown Bitcoin to the wolves, as it were, falling to its lowest valuation of $4500 for the first time in more than a year.
So, is 2019 a time for the big turnaround? It’s a question that’s been asked by the folks over at Finance Magnates, in a row over whether “Blind Optimism, or Hard Realism” will define the future of the cryptocurrency. Taking to the weird and wonderful world of crypto-Twitter and beyond, it again highlights how unpredictable it is, with differing opinions from such renowned Bitcoin speculators Will Woo and Tom Lee. The former is adamant that the pit for Bitcoin looks to be even deeper, all the way into the second quarter of next year, albeit based on his own indicators, whereas the latter is fairly optimistic, believing a value of $15,000 is on the cards by this time next year. He did believe it would be $25,000 earlier however. How volatile it remains…
Then again, the article also speculates how the price of Bitcoin can be affected, with some emphasis on the improving reception to the elusive Bitcoin ETF which appears to have been turned down once again by the SEC. However, with countries such as Venezuela and Zimbabwe looking to protect their transactions, Bitcoin is becoming a very valuable “commodity”, and further blockchain developments in UK asset management may even go further in cheerleading the rise of crypto.
The future may be bright, and in fitting with Bitcoin’s vivid logo, it could also be orange.
Tarot-Cards-ICOLooking straight away again to what may happen soon… what is the future landscape of the Initial Coin Offering (ICO)? This time, it’s the turn of CoinDesk to investigate.
Guest author William Mougayar, founder of Token Summit, takes the reins to deliver his thoughts on the matter, something he feels has only really been practised in the last two years. Notably, he sees the lack of progress with regulatory efforts in regards to tokens, with only Bitcoin and Ethereum regarded as not being ‘securities’, which is limiting the progress of new tokens that can’t get past a birthing stage.
Hence, in the battle of wondering whether innovators or regulators are in the driving seat for a cryptocurrency offering revolution, it can be determined that a long-term future for it is about as optimistic as one can get, as regulatory restrictions are ultimately not letting innovations flourish.
This piece is part of CoinDesk’s 2018 in review, a regularly updated showcase page of guest articles looking into cryptocurrencies’ progress (or lack of). Give it a gander, with a recent article admirably using a title from one of Macbeth’s most revered soliloquies.

Industry Insights

Investors’ Choice
Healthcare-ETFsIt’s time for some fund specific rankings for this almost-year-end edition, in particular the head honchos (in terms of inflows) in the ETF space – the fashionistas of the investing world. collates the top 20 this time around, with a slideshow containing plenty of information for each fund, including YTD net flows, exposure type and month end assets.
Expect to see funds from some of the world’s leading banks and asset managers in sectors of all sorts (as is customary in the ETF space). There’s developed markets, healthcare, communication services, and perhaps one of the most exciting yet dubious spaces in investing: marijuana.
ETFs continue to remain a popular choice among investors in 2018 it seems, and certainly a trend that looks robust enough to carry on for some time. 
The Newcomers
SpannersWhilst established trends remain, you can always count of financial technology to provide a shake up, taking any innovations to yet another level for maximum disruption.
More specifically, although we’ve looked into how robo-advisors have thrown a spanner in the works, why not up the ante by targeting investors in various niches that are not widely catered to easily?
That’s what Citywire Wealth Manager has uncovered: a new kind of fintech tailored to audiences. In this article, they look mainly at companies concerned with ESGs and impact investing, including: Wahed Invest’s Halal Stock Trader, which targets opportunities for Muslims that wish to invest in Sharia-compliant businesses, as faith-related options are limited; Tickr, an app which allows portfolios of £5 or above containing companies committed to social and environment problem (which only went live this November); and Moonfare which offers normally expensive top-tier private equity funds to experienced investors.
The investment world is rapidly evolving, to the point where there are innovations upon innovations, becoming a space ever the more difficult to maintain pace, let alone being one step ahead.

Social Media Spotlight: Hermes Investment Management

It’s been a while since we’ve delved into the social media marketing strategies of asset managers, but this example can’t be ignored due to its perfect way of merging end-of-year updates and views to the future (they keep on coming) with festivities to fit the season.
Over on Twitter, Hermes Investment Management has been doing an advent-calendar-of-sorts, uploading a daily video of a member of staff discussing market outlooks, new year’s resolutions and investment practices.
Enchantingly entitled Baubles, Bulls and Bears, and decked out with some nice visuals, we’re particularly fond of the text graphics that make these double up as excellent soundless videos. Check out a recent example below!

And finally…

Meme…briefly returning to the ‘fall’ of Bitcoin, it seems that even amongst the pessimists of the crypto-community, it still isn’t something to take too seriously, even when you lose a lot of money, weirdly.
Vice’s Motherboard has looked another strange side of Bitcoin this week, investigating why those active on crypto-Twitter are still using the medium of memes to announce their feelings towards its crash. You probably couldn’t imagine another industry where making a drastic loss would warrant a sarcastic image of Gandalf, but I guess that’s crypto for you.
That’s all for this week, but be sure to check back soon for more asset management marketing highlights and fintech snippets from Kurtosys.

Elliot Burr

Elliot Burr

Fervently chatting about the future of funds and fintech.