Frankfurt-based accelerando associates to expand advisory-only consulting

German-based advisory firm accelerando associates has strengthened its advisory-only consulting business on European fund distribution.

Founded in 2004, accelerando has traditionally worked as a third party sales and marketing firm, and it now aims to expand its advisory-only services to European asset managers and other financial institutions as well.

The advisory-only business unit will be lead by Philip Kalus, founder and managing partner of the firm. Philip Kalus has 20 years experience in the international asset management industry and two new hires are due to be announced over the next weeks.

“accelerando does not rely on traditional top down analysis, questionnaires or on public data for conclusions. The major distinction is a knowledge- and practise-based bottom-up approach with a top-down overlay,” Kalus said.

He added: “We aim for a premium position in the market by delivering exceptional bespoke research and advice. Based on our vast practice-based experiences we can advice our consulting clients in everything they need to develop European fund distribution in a smart, highly cost and effort efficient manner.”

In a recent report on challenges and opportunities in European Fund Distribution the firm said that even if aggregated fund flow data from Europe look reasonably healthy, looking at the breakdowns it becomes obvious that real health is not widely spread.

“Few asset managers / few funds have managed to gather the vast majority of fund flows in Europe. Many asset managers face net negative flow numbers. Most fund flows have been captured by large, global asset managers. However, boutiques have been clearly on the rise in terms of gathering net European assets – in particularly in 2011, but also in 2012. Interestingly European redemption rates double in average US redemption rates,” the firm said.

Kalus does not expect a systematic change in 2013 on few managers capturing a lot, but some real flow changes in terms of asset classes and products.

Meanwhile, sespite of the statistical rise of boutique asset managers in terms of European fund flows, fund boutiques have started to face strong headwinds from a number of dominant fund buyers.

The reasons are mainly of operational, partly of commercial nature. Heavily increased operational due diligence and additional compliance aspects have forced some big fund buyers to question the effort to implement asset managers just for one or two funds.

!In consequence a lot more focus is directed to large asset managers offering a broad range of competitive funds. This basically reflects a move from open to guided architecture. We witness similar tendencies at some of the dominant fund platforms in Europe as well,” Kalus said.

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