ACOLIN launches in the UK
Zurich-based ACOLIN Fund Services AG, which links fund companies with distribution partners around Europe, is expanding into the British market.
ACOLIN has an established presence in Switzerland, Austria and Germany, and also covers Sweden, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. Now it is heading for what is often seen as the region’s most competitive market: the UK.
Managing director Lorcan Murphy (pictured), who will head the new operation and office, says the firm brings a new dimension to distribution networks, as the first independent fund distribution service provider operating cross-border to meet the needs of product promoters such as asset managers, banks or other fund initiators.
Key markets such as Switzerland or Germany are complex and dominated by large banks that already have a wide range of products on their platforms.
Linked to these are networks of small- and medium-sized private banks, asset management firms and independent financial consultants controlling privately managed assets. The burden of managing distribution arrangements is increasing exponentially.
Yet in crowded and volatile markets, administration and marketing may drop down the agenda of asset managers. Fragmented European markets are costly and time consuming to get to know, while access to the most effective platforms becomes harder. Even apparently ‘open’ architecture is becoming ever more ‘guided’ and smaller promoters can no longer meet the requirements of very large, top-selling platforms.
More recently, the growth in Ucits III funds as a format for hedge funds as well as for traditional managers has made the management of networks of distributors critical to the distribution strategies of fund managers of every size, notes Murphy, who was previously head of Private Wealth EMEA at Barclays Global Investors.