Welcome to our asset management marketing focus

This week’s round up brings you an AI fund collaboration, Bob Ross’ content marketing tips, future finserv successes, and Winnie the Pooh investors.


Movers & Shakers

Andrea Gerardi headshotAndrea Gerardi
Is now ➜ Associate – Italy, Switzerland, Iberia & France at BlueBay Asset Management
Was: Analyst at PIMCO

Zachary Green headshotZachary Green
Is now ➜ Global Head of Liquidity Sales at AllianceBernstein
Was: Product Specialist/Client Service Executive at Western Asset Management


Michael Sauerbrey
Is now ➜ Director of Institutional Sales
Was: Independent Consultant & Advisor

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

Fund in Focus: Aberdeen Global Intelligence Equity SICAV

Lightbulb-robotAll the rage in the investments space is the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to identify opportunities; those crafty machines really know how to comb through vast amounts of data, don’t they?

Therefore, it’s no surprise to hear the rollout of a new global equity fund from Aberdeen Standard Investments which uses the futuristic technology, which will use quantitative analysis to judge and time investments based on such factors as value, quality, small size, momentum and low volatility. It will be available for a management fee of 0.5%, and has launched in the popular financial hub of Luxembourg.

This particular launch is also a collaborative effort, reflecting the fund firm’s desire to utilise the expertise of AI companies. Their Quantitative Investment Strategies section has teamed up with the Mitsubishi UFJ Trust Investment Technology Institute (MTEC) from the Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation in Tokyo. It is recognised as a leading knowledge centre in everything robotics, AI and fintech.

It’s a fund making news, being the first time that MTEC has collaborated with a Europe-based entity in its 30 year history. As its president Junichi Narikawa notes, the collaboration has been taking place over a period of two tears, with a development of multiple AI driven models to identify patterns in global equity markets.

The AI-based investment decisions can be used to bias portfolios based on factors which will suit the current market situation, with this technological method allowing for these to change according to any market alternations in the future.

It adds to Aberdeen Standard Investments’ existing factor strategies: a SMARTER Beta range of multi-factor equity funds, and the BETTER Beta range of enhanced indexation funds.

AI continues to rise, displaying the power of the now-necessary, innovative tricks that machines harness to assist fund managers to make better investment opportunities for their investors.

Further information: Citywire Wealth Manager | Financial Planning Today

Important Reports: Finance’s Futurama

Space-Digital-FinanceArtificial Intelligence is but one star in the digital galaxy, and financial services industry (FSI) has been discovering, and using, the other components contributing to a vast digitalised landscape.

All the space-age metaphors aside, Adobe’s CMO blog has rounded up a blend of its articles to concoct a demonstration on how the modern FSI is shaping up through the use of technology, and how it is striving ever more to connect customers to what were previously aloof institutions. Nowadays, customer relationships from person-to-person connections, as well as 24/7 digital offerings, are a number one priority for firms of any size.

It’s important to revisit the ‘trends’ that companies have to adhere to, simply to stay on-track with their contemporaries, whether that’s building agile marketing teams, structuring and enhancing a customer journey, personalising content for digital-first millennials and the Gen Z cohort or improving the gender equality gap across the financial world.

Speaking of which, Citywire Selector has looked extremely thoroughly into this latter issue, and has released its multiple findings in the Alpha Female 2018 report, which could can find as a link on this article page.

Gender-portfolio-sizeAs the 2017 report highlighted, women were severely underrepresented in the fund management world, a result which – whilst certain strides are certainly being made by firms, independent organisations and individuals to improve this – is unfortunately much the same. In fact, still this year, out of the number of active fund managers in the Citywire’s database, only 10.3% were female. This seems an outdated and unreliable way for businesses to work, particularly due to sufficient evidence pointing to the success of mixed-gender portfolio management teams. We’ve checked out the issue here at AMMF, with such examples here and here.

This report covers a lot of ground, certainly geographically speaking, looking at how women’s roles in fund management differ across the globe. One useful globetrotting infographic highlights that Hong Kong has the highest percentage of female-run funds domiciled in the country (still at a mere 23%), with Spain closely behind on 21%. Unfortunately, the lowest ranked is 3%.

There’s a tonne of excellent quantitative work on show here, with breakdowns of AUM, risk/return profiles, and Citywire ratings for the top performing female fund managers in the world, amongst articulate articles giving more insight into the gender equality issue.

Whilst there’s still plenty to do to achieve more equality representation, constant exposure will hopefully make these figures rise dramatically in the next few years.

Regulatory Matters: Stick to the Rules

BrusselsBrussels has some pretty stringent rules in allowing countries to enter the financial market. And what with Brexit looming, it looks as if it’s going to remain difficult for the UK to get exactly what it wants from the financial side of any Brexit deal.

The UK has proposed to build market access for the City of London around EU rules, and it is a proposal which the EU financial services chief Valdis Dombrovskis has welcomed, albeit being firm that the approval for market access remains tough. The process has been called “equivalence”, essentially meaning that non-EU institutions are able to operate in the single market if their regulatory system is deemed to be as stringent as the EU’s own. In regards to Britain’s request, Dombrovskis would qualify the country’s individual assessments “sector by sector and legislation by legislation”, according to an article by Financial Times.

Whilst Britain already applies EU rules, therefore presumably making any conforming seem fairly simple, nonetheless it is clear that Brussels are still keeping a close eye on the detail, aware that any shortcuts could undermine competitors in the EU. The UK government has announced this week that they would be planning a “bilateral agreement” to make sure contractual obligations remain “even if access is withdrawn”.

As always, up until the effectual date of Brexit, we’ll have to wait and see whether a drastic change will occur in the regulatory field of the UK’s finserv industry.

That’s not to say that everyone’s sticking to the rules, however…

Courtesy of the Telegraph is an update on how banks have been getting on (well, completely complying) with the “Open Banking” reform which was made effective in January of this year. To find out more about Open Banking, check out recent articles from our Global Head of Digital Rich Watts – here and here.

As you may have guessed, not too well. The expectations from the industry have not been met. Instead six of the largest lenders in the banking world are lagging behind in the Open Banking race, yet to launch their own products and services using Open Banking APIs, causing the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to take action.

As has often been the case for the lack of expertise in the switch to digital, large-scale banks are still very much reliant on legacy technology, unable to see the full commercial benefit unlike the upcoming digital banks who’ve built their businesses with this sort of advanced technology in mind.

Nonetheless, with time and the need for digitalisation, the lending laggards will surely fully integrate the Open Banking reforms to better the data services for consumers.

Industry Insights

The nominations are in…

OscarFinancial News runs its annual Asset Management Awards Europe, with an editorial team putting in months of research and reading over submissions from third-party nominations for managers in various fields.

From the best boutique managers to ETF Providers, you can read the full list of 2018’s nominees right here at Financial News.

The awards ceremony, where the winners will be announced, will take place on All Hallow’s Eve Eve at the V&A Museum in Kensington. You can book a table for the award’s dinner at the link above.

A. A. Milne Asset Management

Winnie-the-PoohThis is certainly a more off-beat thought piece not to be expected, but one which seems relevant since the recent release of Christopher Robin, the most recent cinematic addition to the Hundred Acre Wood canon.

Our regular guest blogger Robin Powell was certainly enamoured with the film, inspired to compare the distinct personalities of the animals that pervade Milne’s pastoral creation to investment behaviours in an article on his Evidence-Based Investor blog.

Whilst the exuberant Tiggers of the world highlight a certain arrogance, unpredictability and complacency of some fund managers, instead the more pessimistic Eeyore investors wouldn’t be too happy with the longest equity bull market the stock market has seen to this day, and the laidback Pooh Bear investors adopt, as Robin notes, a similarly sloth-esque investment style to one Warren Buffett.

It’s certainly an entertaining slant of investment behaviours that pervade the financial world today – who knew the childish charm of a honey-loving teddy would bring so much insight to stock-picking?

“When you add colour, beautiful things will happen”

Paint-content-marketingIn another slanted view of the industry – of the content marketing kind this time – is this LinkedIn blog post from Jason Miller.

The most successful techniques in marketing are to build a brand and engaging your audience, all the while doing this surreptitiously. And in Miller’s case, the most successful content marketer of all time is afro-sporting, chill enhancer and instructional painter extraordinaire Bob Ross.

The 80s presenter of The Joy of Painting, with his trademark laidback, cheerful vibe, remains a pop culture/Internet meme icon, and yet his show was completely free when first showing on PBS America, whilst Ross continued to ‘sell’ his art supplies through the medium of his show.

The piece details 7 reasons for why Ross’ (perhaps unintentional) marketing prowess marks him out as the number one, with steps to follow for marketers in any industry. Create a brand, show your passion, and maintain a personal connection with your consumers in a way that will resonate, even with a further audience.

And finally… 

Ticket-sign…with the football season in full swing (and we’ve focused on it muchly), here’s some news of, you guessed it, crypto!

Finextra has reported a new sponsorship deal between seven football clubs and trading platform eToro. The clubs will take payments in bitcoin in return for eToro branding their name in matchday advertising hoardings and in online digital channels.

Then again, there’s more to this story. Many believe that cryptocurrency and blockchain technology can be useful for the football world, eliminating duplicate tickets and touting, and knock-off merchandise. And that has, indeed, already been proven to be true; CCN states that a blockchain ticketing system for last week’s Super Cup match was a success, providing a secure framework to distribute tickets through a mobile app.

So there we have it: another distinct plus for the ever-growing blockchain technology. The season rolls on, full steam ahead…

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

Elliot Burr

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