Welcome to our asset management marketing roundup

This week’s round up brings you useful MarTech stacks, a teenage hedge fund, an AM partnership and Kanye West’s marketing tips.

Movers & Shakers

Richard Irons headshotRichard Irons
Is now ➜ Head of Sales for Global Exchange (EMEA) at State Street
Was: Head of Account Management and Customer Support at Fenergo

Further information: Asset Servicing Times

Zahra Sachak headshotZahra Sachak
Is now ➜ Director, Client Relations – UK Institutional at BMO Global Asset Management (EMEA)
Was: Institutional Sales & Director, Investment Institute at Investec Asset Management

Further information: IPE

Giorgio Ventura headshotGiorgio Ventura
Is now ➜ Global Head of Sales at Carmignac Gestion
Was: Head of Country – Italy at Carmignac Gestion

Further information: Investment Week

Kurtosys expresses their best wishes to all starting in their new positions.

Website Spotlight: SYZ Asset Management


SYZ Asset Management – the institutional management arm of Swiss banking group SYZ – is the latest website to dazzle our design tastebuds.

The home page is fairly minimal in its boldness, opting for a heavy lean on its blue-and white colour scheme, but packs in an awful lot of content. Placed fairly prominently are two investment information video links, promoted with stark black-and-white photographic imagery which really packs a punch. Elsewhere on its home page is featured content from its insights blog, which again uses grayscale images and an occasional colour burst for some aesthetically pleasing scrolling.

The videos themselves are professionally made and open as YouTube videos in the browser.

The alignment of content and fund information is also achieved as soon as the page is opened. Investors can use its handy ‘quick access’ box to instantly access fund information, using either the typeahead search function or a drop-down list of asset classes. All of these features render well for mobile and the site is fully responsive.

The ‘Funds’ section of the site fits nicely with the colour scheme, and the use of white space and typography looks particularly stylish here. That’s not to say that this fund explorer is all style no substance, in fact, SYZ’s offering ranks up there with the best of them. Asset classes, geographical regions etc. are all laid out in drop down lists to filter the fund selection, which are laid below. Whilst not all contained in a long-form list, but instead separate across three pages, the page is therefore not clogged with an abundance of funds.

Each fund page looks just as polished. Each section of fund information – risk, downloadable fund documents, portfolio breakdown – is segmented into its own box, which can be expanded by the user. This again makes the information highly digestible, with great user experience. The performance charts and graphs also look very good, but could possibly be more interactive for fund perusers.

All in all, it’s a well designed site from the look to the surfability, and certainly a winner for its video content and instantly accessible fund data.

Hedge Fund in Focus: Plympton Capital

Harvard-StatueIf up-and-coming seemed the most apt phrase for cryptocurrencies, then to accentuate it here is the news of the possible launch for a brand new hedge fund, centred on digital currency, set up by four plucky Harvard University students.

Nothing like the courage of youth. Plympton Capital is the name for the fund, looking to launch in as little as six weeks from now, having already racked up $700,000 from friends and family, and looking to reach a $1 million target. The team is spearheaded by 19 year old Bushra Hamid, joined by Scott Sussex, Omar Sorour and Junaid Zubair. Investing individually in cryptocurrencies as first, this tag team of bright sparks were joined in their mutual love of crypto, an investing hobby which seems to have (very quickly) developed into something far greater.

And critics of young generations of investors should probably eat their words, if Plympton manages to ride the wave and get this thing off the ground. It’s been heavily reported how some crypto hedge funds have received subpoenas, with the SEC probing up to 100 of them. Whilst Hamid states that none of the quartet know an awful lot about the cracks and crevices of Wall Street, all of them have relatively useful experience for such young bucks; Zubair interned for an asset manager in Chile, with others majoring in maths and economics. They plan to juggle their studies and the hedge fund, and finish their studies before taking on Plympton full-time.

They seem to be making a lot of headway; they’re already being assisted by John Lore, an attorney who has helped set up over 30 hedge funds of the same ilk, and Lore and Hamid are also planning to launch a capital raising project in Harvard next month called the Global Center for Investment Fund Studies.

The next generation of hedge fund managers are already emerging, with crypto assets turning millennial interests into serious opportunities.

Further information: Bloomberg | Bitsonline

Partnerships: Ashburton // Fidelity

Jersey-CowsIt’s all happy families this week in AMMF, with some partnership news between two heavyweight managers. Then again, it’s the depth of both managers that underlines this agreement to join together to improve the range of international multi-asset funds and services for a certain Jersey-based asset manager.

Ashburton Investments is the asset management arm of the FirstRand Group based in South Africa. Already priding itself on its global macro views, asset allocation and client distribution, with widely diversified investment strategies, it is looking to Fidelity International’s expertise in the fund research side of things. The latter’s multi-asset team will provide advisory services on security and fund selection, whilst also support the implementation of the allocation decisions.

With both teams strong in their own right, this will look to improve the quality of Ashburton’s fund range as, in the words of chief executive Boshoff Grobler, these need to become strengthened due to the “changing global business models in an increasingly complex world” – it’s a way of offering the best services for their clients.

Ashburton currently has over £5.8 billion in AUM, whereas Fidelity manages over $320 billion of assets globally. Given the extra onus to offer the very best investment opportunities for customers in a more competitive modern environment, we shall see whether any other firms look to partner-up for the benefit of both parties and their client bases.

Further information: IPE | Investment Week | International Investment

Industry Insights

How do you Stack up?

kurtosys-stackie-editUs marketers at Kurtosys recently took to London’s ExCel Arena for the B2B Marketing Expo, where we had the pleasure of seeing a wonderful talk from MarTech extraordinaire Scott Brinker, demonstrating exactly how modern marketers at every company has to use a combination of various technologies to enhance their marketing output and abilities: the Marketing Tech Stack.

Scott has been a pioneer in the discovery of the relentless numbers of marketing technologies that are available to us, and has recently released this year’s updated version of his gargantuan ‘Supergraphic’ – the self dubbed ‘most loved-and-hated slides in Marketing’. You can ogle over the sheer number of companies (6,829 to be exact) right here.

What this whole exercise highlights is that all organisations should keep abreast of which marketing tools they use by creating a similar ‘logo housing’ infographic; Scott Brinker’s chiefmartec.com calls this a ‘Stackie’ and hosts a competition to find the best-designed offerings each year. We made the shortlist with our very own Stackie (thanks guys!), but you can check out the winners, and other excellent examples at this page. It’s great to see how much attention to detail has been paid to marketing technologies, and design aspects, here. Two of the eventually winners actually happened to be asset managers!

A Melancholic Goodbye

ButtonwoodThe coming few weeks bids farewell to one of The Economist’s most celebrated blogs.

Philip Coggan, who assumed the moniker Buttonwood as a reference to the namesake agreement in 1792 organising securities trading in New York City pre-NYSE, has been a financial journalist and author in investments and capital markets, but leaves behind his ‘Buttonwood’s Notebook’ for pastures new.

Before then, however, is a gift of a blog series summarising various topics he has blogged about for years. This first offering focuses on long-term investing, with Buttonwood assessing fee charges, diversification and ETFs.

So long, and thanks for all the fis- financial markets articles, Buttonwood.

A Common Squabble 

Here we go again! CRYPTO: GOOD or BAD? Capitals for emphasis.

MespotamiaFerdinando Giugliano from Bloomberg looked into just how divisive cryptocurrency is, especially on the big stage – the world’s central banks.

On the whole, it really is a 50/50 divide. Seeing as though bitcoin and its counterparts have, in his words, “gone mainstream” (this being absolutely true: tube adverts and pub conversations are dominated by crypto), central banks are having to look into just how valuable a commodity they can be if they manage to overtake traditional forms of currency. It’s not just research to act as if they know what they’re talking about when it comes to Bitcoin at various conventions – an ‘unfunny’ joke as Giugliano writes.

That being said, it’s fairly unanimous that central bankers feel that the volatile cryptocurrencies will never displace the traditional forms of money, with commodity money existing since Mesopotamia, or even before. Even in the digital age it’s evident that, around the world, different countries are aware of the challenges that new forms of currency introduce, and dealing with them. China’s ban on ICOs and the recent scepticism over the Venezuelan government’s Petro cryptocurrency are such examples, but Japan (as we outlined in our most recent World Series) is one of the champions of bitcoin legitimacy.

Cryptocurrency is something that has traversed the globe, but is seen with scorn as much as it is viewed as an opportunity. Bloomberg’s article looks in depth at regulation, the attempts by national financial institutions to research digital assets and how emerging markets may become the most advantageous crypto-users.

GDPR Issues

Facebook-thumbHow are our friends across the pond dealing with GDPR (now less than 30 days to go)?

The American Banker looks into what can often be neglected in the GDPR world – US financial institutions that have customers or use services within the EU, and therefore must be compliant with the regulation.

By the sounds of it, larger banks seem to have been doing rather well here. PwC conducted a survey last year on banks that completed their compliance work, with 40% spending over $10 million to cover their backs. This also comes at a time when US citizens are more and more keen to keep their personal data private. A lot of personal data issues came with that Facebook incident, but Mark Zuckerberg – as stated in this article – last week announced his company’s plans for compliance, which has been another major step for GDPR.

But, if you were still wondering about the history of GDPR and the key steps to take (you really don’t have long), SEPA has collated 7 excellently designed infographics to best summarise the complex requirements, all in one place.

And finally…

…marketers, social media fans, all humans were surprised by the unannounced return of Kanye West to Twitter. Only following one person (his wife) and spouting a barrage of ‘thought leadership’ is Yeezy’s game, and whilst some may write off his ‘act’ as buffoonery, here’s an article explaining exactly how following Kanye’s social media strategy can be beneficial. No joke.

That’s all for this week, but be sure to check back soon for more asset management marketing highlights and fintech snippets from Kurtosys.

Elliot Burr

Content Marketing Editor at Kurtosys
Fervently chatting about the future of funds and fintech.