UniCredit: “Selectors should be ready to answer questions when things go wrong”

Since the onset of the financial crisis, the fund selection process has become more professional and rigorous, as bankers and clients ask for more details on selected investment vehicles as well as quick answers when things don’t go as expected, according to Jean-Francois Hautemulle, head of fund selection at UniCredit Private Banking.

Speaking to Investment Europe, Hautemulle said clients and bankers have raised their bar of expectations. For this reason, UniCredit favours simple and transparent solutions.

“At the end of the day, we need to be able to explain to clients what happened if things go wrong. For this reason we try to keep the selection process as simple and as transparent as possible,” he said.

The fund selection team at the Italian bank is composed of seven people, with analysts based in three hubs: Milan, Munich and Vienna.

Selectors at the bank spend about 200 hours each month talking to asset managers to get the most accurate pulse of what they are developing or introducing in the market.

“We cover 160 funds in 33 asset classes and it’s the role of the local team to find the most appropriate products for each market,” the fund selector said.

Over the last two years, UniCredit has completed a revision of the fund selection activity, merging the three different processes carried in the country according to best practices in each of them.

In order to better overview the process, Hautemulle recently relocated from Munich to Milan.

“We are agnostic on where we are based and we work collegially in order to provide UniCredit’s network with the best products available on the market,” he said.

Meanwhile, clients in the three countries remain very concerned and very cautious regarding current market conditions.

“Everybody is looking for clear signals on what will happen, and hopes are that these signals will be provided at the end of the EU summit. Markets need more clarity and determination,” he said.

A full interview with Jean-Francois Hautemulle on the fund selection process at the Italian bank will be published in the issue n. 30 of Investment Europe.

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