// Platforms Tag

Gatekeepers 2017 report

10 Jul 2017 BEYOND MS15/2.3 – CHALLENGING THE RESEARCH MARKET

Last year, the Gatekeepers report caused a stir in the industry by being the first to shine a light on potential biases in fund ratings. This year’s edition is bigger, better and bolder with a wealth of practical information to help fund managers navigate this challenging post MS15/2.3 market. As well as re-assessing the gatekeeper market, we’ve taken a closer look at the efficacy of active fund management, sorted the really active wheat from the closet-tracking chaff, and looked at the value chain from a regulatory perspective and the potential for further scrutiny and investigation.

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Spring has sprung. And Hope springs eternal.

30 May 2017 Spring has sprung…

...and hope springs eternal

We ran the spring sentiment survey in the last week of April (we waited until after the first round of the French presidential election on 23rd April) until mid May.

In all, there were 84 responses. Fund groups represented 62%, platforms 25% and distributors 13%. The audience was mainly British (77% ) and the rest cross-border.

Economic recovery has been gaining ground in the UK, Europe and the US. Despite geopolitical uncertainty, investor sentiment improved, optimism was in the air and there was a strong uptick in business volumes.

However, caution underpinned everything. The open comments were more restrained and measured than the answers given to multiple-choice questions. This reflects sales patterns since the start of the year. Though Q117 is one of the best on record, there has been a particularly heavy allocation to fixed income.

In summary, over the next 12-18 months fee pressure, crumbling margins and the rise of passive/robo loom very large on the horizon. As does a very expensive MiFID2 exercise.

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The year ahead - January sentiment survey

02 Feb 2017 The year ahead – January sentiment survey

The Trump effect

  • We ran the sentiment survey in the second and third week of January. By this point, Trump’s shock election as president of the US was beginning to sink in, but he had yet to take office. The run-up to his inauguration and cabinet/adviser appointments were front-page news.
  • In all, we there were 82 responses to the survey. Fund groups represented 67%, platforms 31% and distributors 2%.
  • The audience was mainly British with 78% of respondents defining themselves as UK-based and the rest cross-border or international.
  • Interestingly, there was a significant dichotomy between the positive expectations for 2017 (answers to the multiple choice questions) and the pessimistic concerns voiced in the open questions.
  • Overwhelmingly, the geopolitical environment and specifically Brexit, Trump and forthcoming elections in Europe were the main concern.
  • At the time of writing, the fixed income rotation into equity was in full swing and stock-market indices had hit all-time highs.
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Five-year platform projections that give a bird's eye view of growth

09 Jan 2017 Five-year platform projections to 2021

Each year we provide five-year platform projections and look at the main drivers of growth and change, and their significance for different stakeholders. KEY TRENDS The world is literally changing before our eyes. The nationalistic mood sweeping through global politics is re-setting government policy globally and there is a similar mindset shift sweeping through financial services. Whether fund managers and platforms like it or not, in this low-growth world the old way of doing business is no longer viable or sustainable and investors are no longer willing to subsidise it.  That means increased focus on the cost of investment solutions and their

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11 Aug 2016 So you wanna be a contender?

So after months of speculation, Aegon finally announced that it is acquiring the Cofunds platform for £140m. The mood at Witham is understandably elated, much to L&G’s amazement. To be blunt though, when you’ve hit rock bottom the only way is up.  The team is ecstatic to be joining a parent that actually wants to be a major player in the platform game and hopes the days of operating on a shoestring are finally over.

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20 Jul 2016 Brexit casts a long shadow over the industry – June’s monthly sentiment survey

THE UK WAS LEFT REELING BY THE BREXIT VOTE. RESPONDENTS ARE FEARFUL FOR THE FUTURE.

Ordinarily, the June sentiment survey would have been conducted Mid June and the results provided a week later, but we decided to wait for the EU referendum on 23rd June. The shock result left everyone reeling, and this  sentiment survey specifically explored fund groups, platforms and distributors' immediate reactions to the result.

There were a total of 80 responses in June.  Of these, 53% were from fund groups, 35% from platforms,  5% were distributors (advisers, wealth managers etc) and the rest were banks and life companies. Most respondents were UK-based, although 16% said they were cross-border or domestic European fund providers.

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04 May 2016 To combine or not to combine? that is the question.

So Standard Life is buying Axa's Elevate platform. Howe exciting! All we need now is for Aegon to confirm that it's buying Cofunds and that will be industry consolidation sorted for a little while. A tie-up between the two makes sense. Standard Life has big ambitions and the Axa group had made clear that it wanted out. It makes sense for Elevate to move to a parent that wants it and has a long-term stake in the industry.

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06 Apr 2016 The NISA, the LISA and pension freedom…

Gideon Osborne always likes to pull a few crowd-pleasers out of his red box on budget day. Last year it was pension freedom (anno pensionis TM) and the personal savings allowance, this year it was the introduction of the LISA (lifetime ISA) and the significant rise in the NISA allowance (new combined ISA). In light of these changes, we’ve had a few requests asking us to set out how product trends might change over the next five years.

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Platform Report

29 Feb 2016 It’s been a long time…

We’re in an extended lock-down phase until various PLCs have reported their annual results to the stock exchange. The Platform Report should be published in full on or around 18th March 2016.  In the meantime, although we can’t give you any detail, we can provide you with some high-level platform numbers to keep you going:

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New Year

04 Jan 2016 Happy new year!

As the New Year dawns, there are three obsessions in the UK: resolutions, January sales, and an increasingly popular trend is Dry January — a chance to give our livers a break after the Christmas season. So here's our take on all three.

New Year Resolutions

One of the things that we often berate ourselves about is that we don’t communicate regularly enough, so one of Fundscape’s resolutions is to stay in touch and  blog at least once or twice a month. And we may even stretch to weekly blogs if we have anything interesting or exciting to tell you about.

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