Welcome to our asset management marketing roundup

This week’s round up brings you two FinServ forays for Virgin, post-MiFID II benefits, a crypto-ban, and AUM’s Luxembourg love affair.

Movers & Shakers

Sam Blanshard headshotSam Blanshard
Is now ➜ Head of Content Strategy at Natixis Investment Managers
Was: Head of Advertising, Promotion & Sponsorship at Candriam


Atilla Kilinc headshotAtilla Kilinc
Is now ➜ Director at Dr. Hengster, Loesch & Kollegen
Was: Vice President at DB Private Equity

Further information: Investment Europe

Andre van den Heuvel headshotAndré van den Heuvel
Is now ➜ Head Institutional Sales NL & Nordics at Robeco
Was: Head of Business Development at ACTIAM

Further information: IPE 

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

Fund in Focus: New Metric Capital Partners Fund

Luxury-beachWhilst the title indicates a fund launch from one investment firm, this is in fact a collaborative effort, and one of gravitas due to this private equity fund’s general partner: Sir Richard Branson.

Branson is, of course, famed as the founding father of Virgin – a conglomerate which includes gyms, aeronautical engineering and space travel in its many-armed arsenal of business interests. Even though being a musical giant in its early years, Virgin has evolved immensely, with Branson already swimming in the waters of private equity as a board member of the Rise Fund, which partners with one of the globe’s largest private equity firms, TPG. Sir Richard and John Sinik, the founder of Metric, have been friends for over 20 years, with the former impressed by the firm’s success and quick expansion in consumer and digital markets.

This fund, pertaining to the lavish side of things, will look to invest in luxury goods, food and beverages, and leisure. It will seek to leverage the fame of Branson (who will act as a minority shareholder in his GP position) for companies to seek its investment opportunity. Currently, it aims to raise £440 million, and achieve returns of 20% – a usual target for private equity groups. As is so often the case with the philanthropic knight, 10% of the profits raised will be donated to women and children’s charities.

Virgin usually takes financial headlines due to its stakes in companies such as Twitter, Slack, or bitcoin firm BitPay, or for its space voyage aims, but Branson certainly looks a model representative for the private equity world with this fund launch news.

Further information: BBC News | Financial Times | Financial News London

Firm in Focus: Columbia Threadneedle Investments

Luxembourg mapAn interesting development in the asset management industry now, all courtesy of Brexit.

It’s going to have a particularly harrowing effect on the UK, as we all know, but Columbia Threadneedle seems to be taking no chances in order to retain “certainty and continuity” for clients, according to the company’s CEO for EMEA Michelle Scrimgeour.

All assets from the UK-domiciled funds are to be transferred to a fairly revered financial centre of Europe – Luxembourg – and will be held within 13 new funds in its Luxembourg SICAV vehicle. Around 20 funds based in the UK will make the move to the continent.

Of course, this will affect not only investors in the funds, but also regulators within the UK and Luxembourg. Therefore, between now and September, those affected will be contacted by Columbia Threadneedle. Last year saw M&G announcing similar plans to relocate assets from the UK to Lux too.

To find out a breakdown of the affected funds (only around 2% of the firm’s global assets), follow the links below. The collective total of the funds is around €28 billion.

Further information: IPE | Investment Week

A Post-MiFID II World

Research-booksOne of the outcomes of MiFID II has been the separate charging of investment research for brokers, and spotting a gap in the market in the post-MiFID II investment world were Alex Schlich and Simon Young.

Highlighted by Investment Week, Young – who formerly worked on UK equities at BlackRock – and Schlich – a former fund manager at Sanlam – teamed up to establish their own business, Heartwood Partners. It works as a specialist investment advisory firm, improving communication between listed and pre-IPO companies and their investors.

Considering MiFID II’s causation for firms being more picky about how much research they buy, Heartwood is a company that has benefitted from the regulation which, as was always highlighted in the industry, would bring about as much opportunity as upheaval leading up to its enaction date.

This is hopefully just one example of the good that MiFID II was expected to do for the investment space. Here’s to seeing many more in the future.

Visualising GDPR


I’m sure that, whilst marketers at many firms are scrambling to comply with their own GDPR issues, mucking around with email templates etc., we’ve also all personally become very acquainted with an onslaught of ‘Please stay in touch with us!’ emails for that very reason.

And whilst these sorts of email have become lost in a homogenous blob, some have certainly stood out as design marvels.

Intrigued? Need inspiration? Look no further than this Pinterest gallery of 98 exemplary email templates all crafted to comply with the GDPR goliath.

Industry Insights

The Insider’s Perspective

Westminster-Abbey-TSAMThe Summit for Asset Management (TSAM) is perhaps the most pertinent event for the industry, and whether you were there or not to learn about the ins-and-outs of the current state of asset management, and uncertainties for the future, the roving reporters at CopyLab were there to document exactly what went down.

The particular ideas and moments of note considered the space’s views on the gender pay gap, with many industry professionals reluctantly pointing out the culture of resistance that permeates the financial world in regards to gender imbalance.

Elsewhere included more talk on the need for automation, not just for clients’ potential, but also to benefit practices within the business. No longer do workers want to rely on manual Excel processes when the digital world is bringing out more and more services to make laborious and unnecessary work a dinosaur.

This also highlighted a further need to look at multiple external and multiple vendors. Much like we’ve taken a look at collating all of the marketing technologies that we use here at Kurtosys, this is a practice that will continue to develop in every sector of business it seems.

Considering CopyLab’s expertise in investment writing, there’s also a lot of talk about what content strategists and marketers from asset managers believe are the biggest challenges, not just in creation, but in distribution too.

Empirical Empire  

Berkshire-Hathaway-ChartServing up even more artistic delights for those hungry for digestible investment information is Visual Capitalist.

Warren Buffett, the world’s most renowned investing soothsayer, has been in the news due to the annual Berkshire Hathaway meeting, held ever year in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. This infographic – the third in a ‘Warren Buffett series’ – takes you on a voyage through his empire: the companies owned by Berkshire (portrayed in a beautiful looking portfolio chart); his geographic footprint; revenue by business segments etc.

If ever you wanted to learn about how he houses his money and where in one neat package, it’s right here, plus it gives some excellent inspiration on fund visualisation for the more artsy fans within fund marketing.

Fintech News: Crypto, Three Ways

BIGKicking off a balanced look at cryptocurrencies is this podcast from the Chicago Booth Review. It’s regular show (don’t be confused with the Cartoon Network kids’ programme) is the cleverly titled Capitalisn’t – a look into what’s working in the markets today.

As you may have already guessed, this edition is all about cryptocurrencies and ICOs, and judging by the Notorious B.I.G-inspired name Mo Crypto Mo Problems, you know there’s going to be a shade of pessimism. It’s an entertaining and useful half-an-hour chat from reliable hosts Kate Walfock and Luigi Zingales, and is well worth your time and attention. 

Uh oh, it looks like it’s getting even more problematic for cryptocurrencies, particularly in certain areas.

Space-LaunchThis time around, we’re in video format, courtesy of Vice’s Motherboard. In March of this year, the city of Plattsburgh in upstate New York announced it was looking to become the first place to impose a complete ban on cryptocurrency mining. Why? The main reason being cryptomining companies raising energy prices for the local population, but journalist Jason Koebler takes a further investigative look into the issue with governmental heads, in an interesting 7-minute short doc.

HOWEVER! Even if this could set off a string of anti-bitcoin policies, there’s still a lot of companies still championing crypto, as highlighted by Mary Spio in this LinkedIn Pulse list.

It acts as a top 10, covering a vast range of sectors: charity (including the Red Cross and Save the Children); WordPress; Subway (the sandwich empire); and even our aforementioned Virgin subsidiary Virgin Galactic. If we’re looking to tour space as a regular holiday, digital currency is surely going to have to become the norm, right?


Money 20/20 Europe  4-6 JUNE 2018 | AMSTERDAM

Like the world’s most renowned DJs, for the fintech world, Money 20/20 really doesn’t require much of an introduction.

All that needs to be stated is that its European showcase is headed to the Dutch capital of Amsterdam. Beautiful canals provide the setting for three days of everything FinServ, and registration closes soon, so get on your bike to sign up without delay. You can buy a ticket from the link above.

And finally…

…fintech fans or haters alike can usually agree on one thing: what’s the deal with the company names?

There’s genuine trends in tech startup names nowadays, hence why an algorithm can come up with extremely viable companies, seemingly ready for an IPO. The BBC enlisted the help of Botnik – a community of artists, AI enthusiasts and writers from Seattle – to use a neural network to come up with 10 ridiculously relevant descriptions for such fake companies as Nextably, TempleRentr and Everyworse.

Take a gander at the gallery, they’ve produced the logos and all sorts.

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.