Welcome to our asset management marketing roundup
This week’s round up brings you a service for first-time investors, the FCA’s asset management shakeup, a quarterly review, Lady Gaga and AI.
Movers & Shakers
Is now ➜ Director Performance Analysis at Hermes Investment Management
Was: Associate Director Performance Analysis at Hermes Investment Management
Is now ➜ Head of Operations & Projects at Vontobel Asset Management
Was: Director, Head of Platform & Change (Asset Management EMEA) at Credit Suisse
Is now ➜ Business Manager, CEO Office at Old Mutual Wealth
Was: Business Support Executive at Old Mutual Wealth
Kurtosys expresses their best wishes to all starting in their new positions.
Website Spotlight: J O Hambro Capital Management
Another new addition to our 50 Best-Designed Asset Management Websites gallery is our main feature in this week’s AMMF: the freshly re-designed offering from J O Hambro Capital Management, which has its HQ in London, and investment offices in Singapore and the USA’s East Coast.
The main page’s striking banner is certainly a winner in terms of presenting its brand: the SVG logo is clear and presentable, like much of the site to follow. This home page is made up of many components to fill all of its space, but the horizontal layout leaves it feeling uncluttered. The main toolbar is easy to navigate, and we are particularly fond of the site’s high usability, mainly how rapid the loading times are, making the web-surfing experience snappy and a far cry from the choppy waters of cumbersome, irresponsive web pages.
The whole site also caters to multiple countries and language sites, and the user can change their user information (which is saved upon their visit) quickly. This is a feature embedded into the main toolbar, and the accompanying attestation is as quick to navigate through as J O Hambro’s other site features.
The investment manager offers a modest amount of products on its fund page, and the user can toggle between regions via a toolbar. If we had one (minor) criticism, it is that this page features a fairly hefty amount of text which could be broken up a tad more using other icons or images.
That being said, each individual fund page contains all pertinent information and, as is a favoured design aspect to asset management sites, they contain interactive performance charts and sector breakdown pie charts, all of which can be printed or downloaded as .pdfs.
As well as the more in-depth product information pages, J O Hambro also presents a well laid out literature library for all of its fund offerings, and its snappy (it’s a theme here) ‘Views & News’ insights section is exemplary in its regularity of market outlooks, emerging market commentaries and even recorded webcasts.
This is one of the speediest sites that we have come across on our voyage through asset management websites, and J O Hambro makes it all the more pleasurable to surf through given its expansive fund pages, content library and attractive design features.
Fund (Service) in Focus: Hargreaves Lansdown Simply Invest
What is perhaps an oversight for many investment firms is that, besides experienced investors, there are up-and-coming investors that are looking to try out some options before breaking into the evermore expansive fund industry.
Therefore, this week’s most prominent fund news comes courtesy of Hargreaves Lansdown, whose ‘simple by name, simple by nature’ Simply Invest strategy targets first timers that could then grow more confident and expand to new investment opportunities.
The service will only offer the Legal and General UK Index fund, tracking the performance of the FTSE All Share. Despite being only a UK-domestic offering, it still provides the opportunity for diversification, with many of the FTSE earnings coming from abroad. Users will also only pay the usual platform charge of 0.45%, and are offered the choice of an ISA, a Lifetime ISA, a self-invested personal pension or a fund account.
There has been some criticism from consultancy companies, who does not feel that this service will revolutionise the market as such, what with low fees already being offered by robo-advisors and champions of low-fee investing such as Vanguard. Other critiques have also focused on the ‘one size fits all approach’ which limits the addressing of personal investment goals, and that there lacks a relationship with a financial advisor.
However, for completely inexperienced investors, this single fund introduction could snowball into a more mature investment strategy in the stock market. The service will also offer a mobile app, and users will be emailed 12 monthly tutorials on how to create investment portfolios, with the ability to construct their own when ready.
It’s certainly the first of its kind that we’ve covered here at AMMF, and any active encouragement of investing certainly gains kudos here.
Even after all this time and talk of artificial intelligence (for any industry, not just financial services), it’s still a topic masked with confusion, intrigue, and regulatory issues.
AI and machine learning, however, is a disruptive force that we witness all the time in our Fintech World Series, with traditional financial firms and new startups embracing its usage for automation, and data storage and security.
Luckily, for any budding explorers into the real nuts-and-bolts of AI usage, this meaty report from the optimistically named AI for Humanity, is a monolithic force in AI education, besides it’s main mission of underpinning a national AI strategy for France. It’s also a document written up (mainly) by the charismatic Cédric Villani, a mathematician and member of the French Parliament who is affectionately dubbed the ‘Lady Gaga of French mathematicians’. It looks into the ethics of artificial intelligence, but mainly how it can be best be utilised to further economic development in France and Europe as a whole, how to enable research, as well as how to strike a balance in gender equality.
A Herculean read, but one which will become more and more prominent as the ‘dataization’ of the world continues to boom.
Breaking AM News
The Financial Conduct Authority has been on the warpath this week seemingly, with the regulator rolling out a number of sanctions on the UK’s asset management space.
All of these, however, are to make sure that asset managers act in the best interest of investors. These rules come at the end of a two and a half year study into practices in the investment industry.
Considering the sector manages the saving of three-quarters of the population, the FCA is clearly attempting to stamp out any malpractice that may be present, and among the rules is to make fund managers bring in two independent directors to their boards, bringing the UK closer to EU counterparts. Independent fund boards are also common in the US.
For a more detailed look at what these rules entail, check out this summary from the Financial Times.
An ongoing predicament
Elsewhere in asset management, there’s beginning to be a huge surge in recruiting more women to join a sector where they are seemingly scarce.
April Rudin, Founder and President at The Rudin Group, has written an excellent account about this exact issue. Whilst highlighting some shocking statistics about gender diversity within the workplace, April also offers some reasons for why an influx of female employees into asset management would do a world of good, looking into different attributes between genders and similar insights into men and women’s trading behaviours on Wall Street.
The conversation about overhauling the male-dominated mindset that governs asset management gains more and more momentum daily, with articles such as this building the awareness that gender equality deserves within financial services.
What’s been going on?
It’s already April, spring time is a-springin’ (is it?), and that means for many that we’ve made the big step into Q2.
Retrospective articles are just as important as the more speculative prediction articles that make up every content marketers’ end-of-year watchlist. The wealth management industry has certainly had its fair share of stories in the first three months of 2018, with mergers and acquisitions coming thick and fast, and even some more questionable fraud-filled capers.
This slideshow from Citywire Wealth Manager shines a light on the action-packed first quarter, featuring the news of Brewin Dolphin’s managed portfolio service (MPS) overhaul, the hiring of new bosses for some of the industry’s biggest players, whistleblowers, and most prominently one firm’s legal battles with such characters as ex-footballer Robbie Savage, of all people.
It’s certainly been a time of change, scrutiny and advancements aplenty, which can only continue for the rest of this year.
ALFI London Cocktail & Conference Event 2-3 March 2018 | LONDON
It’s less than a month now until ALFI’s 14th Cocktail & Conference event, to be held at the Central Hall Westminster in London.
For asset management professionals, the talks and workshops will cover multiple avenues including predictions for the industry’s future, sustainable finance, investor protection, regulatory issues, and transformational change. You can register yourself right here.
Also, Kurtosys are exhibitors at this event. We will have a stand at the venue, so feel free to come and say hello to our representatives!
…we frequently return to the case for whether investment firms can tackle the advertising space with aplomb in their marketing efforts.
A most recent search has found a gem, with audit, tax and advisory firm Grant Thornton creating a short-and-sweet 30 second advertising slot which exemplifies one of the financial world’s bugbears: jargon.
It really is this simple: US pro golfer Rickie Fowler stars as the face of the advert (and a sports ambassador for the company), who asks his caddie for his suggestion whilst he lines up a shot. The caddie talks in complete jargon to Rickie’s bemusement, and that’s that.
Whilst perhaps owning more resources than most firms to create such an effective television spot, there’s no doubt that marketing for financial companies can be just as humorous and engaging with some simple creative magic. Check out the video on The Drum here.
That’s all for this week, but be sure to check back soon for more asset management marketing highlights and fintech snippets from Kurtosys.
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