Funds management industry faces cultural shift

Fund managers worldwide will have to up the ante in terms of delivering value to clients as the funds management industry is set to encounter significant change, according to AllianceBernstein’s global chief executive, Seth Bernstein.

Bernstein said the industry, which in some ways faced a larger risk environment than the one that preceded the global financial crisis in 2008, was entering a new phase of change, which included changes to corporate transparency and leveraging technology.

“What’s significant now is how important these conversations about culture and technology have become―even more important than they were before,” Bernstein said.

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By “before”, Bernstein is referencing the GFC, which triggered AB and other active managers to introduce investment strategies that were benchmark-agnostic, and asset allocation concepts that went beyond the equities/bonds paradigm, and looked instead for risk and return opportunities across the asset spectrum.

Despite advancing competition and challenging market conditions, AB had rolled out some new investment strategies, including some ESG-focussed strategies to wholesale investors, with retail availability on the horizon.

“While we continue to innovate in our differentiated investment offerings we are also looking at corporate culture and technology as areas where we can compete and add value for clients,” he said.

One of the ways the firm helped to ensure client satisfaction is through its diversity and inclusion policies and introduction of automated services.

“Our efforts in technology have also been focused on improving our value proposition for clients. For example, Abbie, our virtual bond-trading assistant, provides a range of automated services, all delivered through natural language processing,” he said.

“The efficiencies she has introduced have been of direct benefit to clients and have led to AB becoming an acknowledged leader in this field of technology.”

AB was nominated for three awards at this year’s Money Management Fund Manager of the Year Awards, further information on bookings can be found here.

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