The asset manager is moving into the Nordic region one deliberate step at a time.
This is because it is a place where many large asset management companies have some sort of presence, while Invesco’s visibility as such is considerably different than in other European markets, Brouwers says.
Still, Invesco sees good opportunities in the region. The pension systems are well funded, governments are well funded, and there are many clients Brouwers considers “sophisticated”.
This means that Invesco can discuss sophisticated solutions, which it feels plays to its strengths as an asset manager.
This is a trait that marks out the region from some other European markets, he adds.
It is also important to recognise intra-regional differences. The markets themselves are different enough that Invesco actually does not view Finland as particularly ‘Nordic’ because of its membership of the eurozone.
This is particularly true when speaking about fixed income solutions, Brouwers says.
Meanwhile, there is continued growth in pan-Nordic financial institutions such as Nordea, which means Invesco needs to be available to clients not just in Stockholm, but in Helsinki, Copenhagen and Oslo, too.
The distribution strategy tends to be focused on the largest financial institutions, to find out what they can allocate to a manager such as Invesco.
This varies from country to country. Brouwers’ experience is that, for example, in Finland institutions work with banks to find fund managers.
This means Invesco needs to talk to the banks, then get the business from the institutions.
The approach is about identifying the products that can appeal to wholesale and institutional, and not getting too caught out by a strict focus on how AUM figures are developing, but rather considering how well represented Invesco is among customers, and how happy they are to have Invesco on their balance sheets.
By way of reference, the Benelux presence started with two people before it grew on the basis of customer needs, Brouwers adds.
“We want to become partners with locals, then we can build it out,” he says.