Marketing – Distribution: Open-architecture distribution has been hailed as a boon for investors, but doubts have been expressed in the industry about legal and regulatory constraints to fullest implementation. This nevertheless has not prevented the appearance of open architecture models (such as this: Amundi’s open architecture product ). How would you see open-architecture distribution developing as part of fund distribution models going forward?
Product development: Unlocking Private Asset and Markets opportunities for the broad mass of investors continues to be a key value point for the asset management industry in the coming years, even though doing so requires niche specialist skills. Where do you see particular opportunities arising in the coming environment, referencing examples perhaps, from the following areas:
Technology – Product Design: Investment performance and research productivity enhancement have been identified as fertile areas for big data analytics application with the area identified as a significant commercial opportunity for asset managers operating in Ireland (See Finance Dublin September 2022 ). In your experience, citing examples perhaps from your own company’s experience, where might opportunities lie for leveraging data analytics in asset servicing/fund administration?
Environmental: A report from Morningstar says 23% of funds labelled Article 8 (light green) under the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) do not meet Morningstar's criteria of an ESG fund, highlighting the differing interpretations of ESG standards and metrics currently in asset management.
In your view, what are the major ESG difficulties facing promoters of European funds? Ahead of the implementation of further SFDR requirements in 2023, what steps might fund promoters take now?
Regulation – Europe: The EUs proposed Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA) will apply to a wide range of financial entities including investment firms and for the first time will bring major ICT service providers within the scope of European Supervisory Authorities. While not yet finalised, the rules could come into force in the second half of 2024. How significant could these changes be for investment firms and service providers?
Governance: How much do you agree with the statement “The custodian is an ideal party to act as a governance partner for pension funds with independent reporting, and indeed other types of fund?