AMMF #66: 2018 in review, young investor gifts, New Year trends

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Welcome to our asset management marketing focus

This week’s edition brings you views the year in review, global digital banking, new pension problems, 2019’s trends and Christmas gifts for young investors.

Movers & Shakers

Nick White headshotNick White
Is now ➜ Head of UK & European Distribution at Nedgroup Investments
Was: Business Development Director at Carmignac Gestion

Jan Mueller headshotJan Mueller
Is now ➜ Head of Institutional Sales Germany & Austria at T. Rowe Price International Ltd
Was: Institutional Sales Director at Franklin Templeton Investment Management Limited
Kurtosys expresses their best wishes to all starting in their new positions.

Fund in Focus: PGIM QMA Global Core Equity ESG Fund

Dublin-Frontier-marketA first for PGIM, but certainly not the first we’ve heard about environmental, social and governance (ESG) funds here at AMMF. It seems fitting in the last edition of the year to end with this year’s most prominent type of investment.
It’s the first time that PGIM has launched a fund of this nature; an ESG equity strategy to be added to the firm’s Ucits platform, which was launched in 2013. It has amounted to 28 funds, domiciled in Dublin. As of 30 September, the Ucits platform has grown to $3.1 billion in AUM, up 24% in a year.
The fund will be actively managed, and looks to assess the ESG status of each security in global core equity in order to eradicate investment opportunities in the worst ESG offenders. It is sub-advised by QMA: PGIM’s quantitative equity and global multi-asset solutions manager.
QMA Chairman and CEO Andrew Dyson had this to say about the launch:
“Our proprietary way of looking at data allows QMA to integrate ESG factors into portfolios aiming for performance comparable to non-ESG holdings. This process—which also solves for the industry-wide challenge of data sparsity when investing in ESG – is built around our time-tested core investment strategy that identifies alpha opportunities using value, growth and quality factors.”
Going into 2019, will the EGS train keep on rolling? We’ll have to wait and see…
Further information: Institutional Asset Manager | Investment Europe | Citywire Selector

Important Reports

Global-dig-bank-reportAnother year, another roundup of how the banking industry is being driven forward by technological change.
As is customary for the Big Four consultancy firms, there’s always a large-scale survey to find out exactly how the banking industry is faring in relation (or retaliation) to technology brands. This time around, Deloitte has released their findings from a global consumer study into digital banking. You can find all the results at this landing page.
As explained in a flashy infographic, the survey asked 17,100 consumers from 17 countries about their use of digital channels and general satisfaction with their primary banks which, as has been found, is actually quite high globally. Promising! Also noteworthy is a neat feature in the interactive results box which allows you to toggle between countries, whereby it explains the sample size, as well as the results to the survey’s questions through quantitative graphs and percentage charts. It allows you to peruse the attitudes towards traditional banking and the uptake of digital channels, and compare these between each country that has been surveyed.
For those that want their data to hand thick and fast, Deloitte go on to explain the results more holistically, showing in various infographics the high-to-low satisfaction rates per country (India and the US being the highest, France and Japan at the bottom of the pile, interestingly), and which are the most digitally adventurous (here’s to you Brazil at 51%).
The surveyors then go on to explain in more detail the habits of consumers from such publications as Harvard Business Review; it’s an action-packed page full of useful information to those in the financial services industry, showing whereabouts in the world digital adoption is rife, and where it needs to improve.
Overall, banks and other financial institutions are reminded that emotional connection with consumers is the way forward, with digital channels providing ease of access and an enhanced customer service. Plus, with all the information right here at your fingertips, it’ll give you more time to finish off that Christmas shopping, presumably online.
Elsewhere, do we even care about our pensions?
Pension-SchrodersIt’s an important question, one that is looking to be addressed by the UK government due to the workplace direct contributions savings falling to its lowest ever placement. Copylab writer Vered Zimmerman has looked into how they are looking to boost people’s interest (or at least their attention) in their own savings. One way, it seems, is through technology, by launching a pensions dashboard which will allow users to view their pension pots in one place.
As reported in this piece, this tool has been in the making for a long while (suggested as a solution back in 2016), under the supervision of four former pensions ministers. Trying to manage many different pension pots per person with new plans becoming available after moving jobs is tough, with a growing concern from customers to be able to integrate their pension management with existing banking applications.
There seems to be a heated debate on the topic: whilst the government are announcing furthered commitment to the cause, advisors are also concerned that people are just not interested, and therefore the inclusion of lengthy and expensive investment in the digital tool is perhaps not worthwhile. Certainly food for thought, as Copylab note that Australia has had very limited success with their dashboards, Sweden and Denmark have fared better, but only 50% of the public have registered.
Perhaps 2019 will provide a turn in the public pension perception, but for now, it seems to be a space in financial circles that’s a difficult egg to crack.

Fintech News: In defence of crypto

Team-talkFacebook is never short of some controversial news these days (see here for instance), and so the joining-up of the global social network and cryptocurrencies sounds like a match made in heaven. In fact, back in May, it was first reported by Cheddar that Facebook was looking to develop its own digital token, and now it’s mini-team of blockchain developers are ramping up efforts in the space.
Despite the negative impression of the company that has dominated much of 2018, they are striving for a large-scale hiring programme of the greatest minds in crypto and blockchain projects, already led by David Marcus (former president of Paypal) and VP of Facebook Messenger. There aren’t many more details at to the extent of Facebook’s foray into these currencies, however it seems that on the (digital) cards is its own payments solution, therefore marking a direct competition with financial institutions (!).
You can find out more about the firm’s blockchain efforts in the past 8 months courtesy of a handy news video from Cheddar.

Industry Insights

More Christmas lists…
Santa-listWe’re not going to be giving a rundown of Santa’s good and bad children’s lists, instead another important listicle for financial marketers is this entry from Financial Brand looking into the most prevalent trends for digital consumer marketing.
The publication is adamant that this type of marketing is one of maximum priority due to the public’s insatiable appetite for data across many digital devices. In an eye-opening featured infographic for example, they break down how many photos, minutes, streams, swipes and gifs are downloaded every minute across applications including YouTube, Instagram, Tinder and Spotify. What makes these types of companies stand out is their ability to emotionally engage customers, and these types of personalisation and client servicing is something financial brands need to consider.
Across this detailed examination of the nine latest trends in the space are machine learning (for speedy, advanced data processing), personally identifiable information (PII – of great importance particularly with widespread publicity of data breaches), a lean towards humanising and long-term relationships, voice recognition and search and the best practices for social media, which will continue to remain an ultimate tool for client engagement.
Incorporating these in 2019 is a major step, but necessary, so take note.
…and the list goes on
Hub-contentAnother form of marketing still crucial for drawing in and keeping loyal followers is content marketing.
Juggling each aspect of the arsenal: social media, brand and automation technologies, is something all content marketers are aware of, but it’s best to take a step back at the year’s end to find out exactly what continues to work best, and that’s what the gurus over at Stone Temple have done.
Mark and Eric are usually famed for their entertaining informative videos, which unfortunately we lack here, but usefully they narrow down the content marketing priorities to a top-3 scenario, with the themes being Quality over Quantity, Content Hubs and Content Bridges.
The landscape has changed for content marketers to focus more on building more specific articles rather than churning out as many blog posts as possible, given the improvements in SEO and Google Search, as well as guest blogging and posting all of your content into ‘hubs’ – very useful particularly for asset managers wanting to direct investors to all of their insights, outlooks and fund literature in one place.
Time to reflect
ReflectionDeviating from the ‘looking forward’ articles, to instead looking at the biggest past events in the asset management world, courtesy of Citywire Wealth Manager.
It’s no surprise that 2018 has been an event-filled year, as they usually are in the space. Without spoiling any of the gifts that are hidden amongst the above URL’s wrapping, expect fraud scandals, acquisitions, leavers, court cases, administrations and a whole lot more. Some festive cheer, some Grinch-like bad news. Here’s to the next year.

And finally…

Toys-investing…you’re never too young to get into financial planning, especially at Christmas time. At least that’s what the writers at have been preaching, and have compiled a list of the best gifts for young’uns to start considering savings in time for Noel.
Amongst these include the bestselling The Squirrel Manifesto, written by advisor Ric Edelman and his wife, educational flash cards, activity books and games and more, helping to generate a new league of investors from the ages of 4 up.
That’s all for this year, but be sure to check back soon for more asset management marketing highlights and fintech snippets. Happy holidays from Kurtosys!

Elliot Burr

Elliot Burr

Fervently chatting about the future of funds and fintech.