Aberdeen Standard & Virgin ink JV
CMA disputes consultants’ ability to pick managers
Chancellor unveils UK’s Fintech strategy

Managers will need to retrain almost half their workforce in tech

Diversity Project offers CV coaching for returners

Moves: PIMCO hires UN PRI co-founder; Aviva CEO joins BlackRock

Aberdeen Standard & Virgin Money ink JV
Aberdeen Standard Investments (ASI) and Virgin Money have formed a joint venture to grow their retail asset management businesses. ASI will acquire 50 per cent of Virgin Money Unit Trust Managers for £40 million, and will take over the investment management of Virgin Money’s £3.7 billion in retail assets. Virgin Money will gain access to ASI’s technology and digital expertise.
“This mutually beneficial relationship will give our customers a broader fund choice,” said Jayne-Anne Gadhia, CEO of Virgin Money. “It is expected to generate significant growth in assets under management, drive additional capital-light returns and to be game-changing for our investment business over the longer term.”
Buy-rated managers don’t outperform, CMA finds
The Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) has disputed investment consultants’ ability to pick top-performing managers. In a working paper published yesterday, the CMA said it found no evidence that actively-managed strategies recommended by consultants outperform their respective benchmarks, net of fees, to a statistically significant extent. Neither could it find proof that buy-rated products outperform unrated strategies.
Managers need to retrain almost half their workforce
Developments in technology will lead to a significant shift in the asset management industry’s workforce, according to a new report from Oliver Wyman and Morgan Stanley. They estimate that up to 40 per cent of staff will require fundamental re-training. Portfolio management and asset administration professionals, in particular, will need to upskill as data and analytics transform their roles. Distribution roles are also expected to undergo huge changes as data and technology revolutionise the way financial services firms interact with their clients.
The report predicted that technology and data management teams’ share of their firms’ overall compensation budgets will grow fourfold. Meanwhile, spending on automated back office functions will decrease. Overall headcount at investment firms is likely to fall as tasks are automated and outsourced, according to the report, ‘Wholesale banks & asset managers: winning under pressure.’
Morgan Stanley and Oliver Wyman believe that the CEO should be responsible for overseeing the transition towards a digital future. “The depth and speed of change required far exceeds the traditional change management process. We believe that the workforce of the future is a CEO topic, requiring strong top-down guidance and a clear understanding of how the organizational setup and glue will have to change,” the report stated. “However, we view this as a five- to seven-year journey requiring many boards to also adjust incentives for the C-suite.”
Chancellor unveils UK’s Fintech strategy
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond announced HM Treasury’s Fintech Sector Strategy this week, which aims “to preserve and extend the UK’s international edge in Fintech.” As part of this, Hammond signed a Fintech Bridge agreement with Australia yesterday to help British firms expand internationally.
To plug the skills gap, the Fintech Delivery Panel (a group of financial services and Fintech experts convened in 2016) is partnering with Barclays to deliver a Connect with Work Programme. This initiative aims to find and recruit individuals with the skills and competence to work in Fintech.
The Fintech Delivery Panel is also working with the British Standards Institute to develop standards that will make it easier for Fintech companies to collaborate with financial services firms. Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group, HSBC, RBS and Santander have committed to implementing the standards when they are published towards the end of next year.
The UK government plans to establish a Cryptoassets Task Force to explore the risks and potential benefits. It will include the Bank of England, the Financial Conduct Authority and the Treasury.
Diversity Project offers CV coaching for returners
The Buy-Side Club is partnering with City CV, the Diversity Project and M&G Investments to offer free online training on CV writing next week. The hour-long webinar, which will take place at 1pm GMT on Wednesday 28th March is geared towards people who have taken a career break and are seeking to return to the investment and savings industry. Returners can register to participate here.
Victoria McLean, CEO of City CV, will explain how to describe a planned a career break on your CV. Colette Comerford, Diversity & Inclusion Manager at M&G Investments, will discuss how M&G has adjusted its recruitment processes and job advertisements to attract returners, and what asset managers are doing to provide support and coaching for returning professionals. Sarah Dudney, Client Partner at The Buy-Side Club, will demonstrate how to get the most out of the Returners Database, which connects individuals with employers in the investment and savings industry.
Asset Management One in Tokyo has named Akira Sugano as CEO and President. He was Deputy President of Mizuho Financial, Asset Management One’s parent company.
AustralianSuper has hired Damian Moloney as Head of Investments for Europe, a newly-created position based in London. He was CEO of Frontier Advisors, which appointed Andrew Polson to replace him. Polson was General Manager of Wealth Management at MyState.
Aviva Investors has added Colby McVey from Northern Trust as a Client Solutions Director in Chicago.
Italian fund manager Azimut has appointed Nicolò Bocchin as Head of Fixed Income. He was previously a Portfolio Manager at Aletti Gestielle SGR, where he ran the credit desk.
Barings Real Estate has hired Jere Fredriksson as Head of Real Estate Transactions in Finland, based in Helsinki. He joins from LocalTapiola Real Estate Asset Management.
Mark Wilson, Group CEO of Aviva, has joined BlackRock’s board as a non-executive director. BlackRock has also appointed Bill Ford, CEO of private equity firm General Atlantic, and Peggy Johnson, Executive V.P. of Business Development at Microsoft, to its board.
Michiel Koudijs has joined BNP Paribas Asset Management’s institutional sales team in the Netherlands as a Senior Business Development Manager. He spent 12 years with KAS Bank working in sales and client service.
Portfolio Managers Rupert Brandt and Peter Cawston are moving from Findlay Park Partners to Brown Advisory. The Findlay Park Latin American fund, which they manage, will be merged into the Brown Advisory Latin American fund.
Deutsche Asset Management has brought in Schroders’ Jacques Lajard de Puyjalon as Head of ETF Equity Portfolio Management.
UK private equity manager Duke Street has hired Tom Salmon from 3i as a Partner and Hugo Strachan from RJD Partners as an Investment Manager.
White label ETF platform, HANetf has appointed Mark Tan from Blackfriars Asset Management as Director of Operations.
Investec Asset Management has brought in Alastair Leather as UK Institutional Sales Director. He spent the past decade with Goldman Sachs Asset Management, most recently as a V.P. of Institutional Sales and a member of the Strategic Client Group.
Kempen Capital Management has hired Mark Vreeswijk as a Client Manager. He joins from Goldman Sachs in London, where his role involved liaising with Dutch institutional investors.
KPMG has named Dave Lyons from Aon Hewitt as Head of Investment Advice to UK public sector pension funds.
Menko Nieland has left pensions supervisor De Nederlandsche Bank to join Montae as a Consultant, advising Dutch pensions on risk management.
PIMCO, which launched an ESG platform last year, has appointed Gavin Power as Head of International Affairs and Sustainable Development. He was Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Global Compact, an initiative to advance sustainability and responsible investment. He was also a co-founder of the Principles for Responsible Investment.
Separately, PIMCO’s wealth management team has added two Vice Presidents as it seeks to expand in the UK retail market. Richard Bacon and Joseph McCurdy join from Jupiter and Standard Life Aberdeen, respectively.
Martin Freeman moved to Smart Pension last month as Head of Technology Product and Development. He was a Senior Defined Contribution Consultant at Capita Employee Benefits.
Nick Good, who was Co-Head of State Street Global Advisors’ SPDR ETF business, has taken on a new role as Chief Growth and Strategy officer. Rory Tobin has been promoted to become sole head of SPDR ETFs.
The $1.2 billion University of Georgia Foundation has hired Jason Bull as CIO. He was a Managing Director at Emory University’s endowment, where he oversaw public equities.
Emma Wallis
Head of News and Insight