GBAM meets in Lisbon to discuss boutiques’ future

The Group of Boutique Asset Managers (GBAM) meets in Lisbon to discuss UK’s RDR and the risk to the global development of Ucits.

The GBAM was launched by a number of boutiques across Europe earlier this year with the aim of enabling each other to compete more effectively internationally with more dominant global players.

During their meeting in Portugal earlier in November, the members of GBAM have discussed the effectiveness of Ucits to become a global trend across the continent.

“Ucits has already lost its way in terms of becoming a global brand and is likely to be replaced by locally developed,” the meeting’s report said.

The group,w hich met a number of experts in Lisbon, heard that while Ucits remains the passport for undertaking funds business around the world, it’s leading position had been eroded by an enthusiasm in Europe for constant change (mainly as a result of the banking crisis) which has led local regulators to start developing their own passports – this was particulary true in Asia.

GBAM members broadly agreed that while the larger industry players could absorb continuing changes to the Ucits regime, this was a poor option for smaller players who were less able to continually absorb additional costs.

GBAM also discussed the UK’s Retail Distribution Review (RDR) and felt that it offered investment boutiques a great opportunity longer term. However, initially the Group noted the growth of ‘guided’ architecture whereby large asset managers were trying to control the market by offering a smaller number of low cost funds, so potentially restricting choice and diversity for consumers.

In the longer term, however, the group felt that fund selectors would seek to break out as they sought to distinguish their offerings from those of other distributors.

Finally, the group welcomed a number of new associates which include:

  • Argos Investment Managers, represented by managing partner Jean Keller, Geneva, Switzerland,
  • First Avenue Investment Management, represented by CEO, Hlelo Giyose, of Johannesburg, South Africa.
  • RWC represented by CEO, Dan Mannix, London, UK
    Van Eck Switzerland represented by managing director, Uwe Eberle, Zurich.
  • Victoire Brasil Investimentos represented by Executive Director, Paulo Del Priore, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
  • Zeal Asset Management, represented by CEO Franco Ngan, Hong Kong, China.



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