Fund professionals discuss trends and evolutions during Fund Insiders Forum
During the annual Fund Insiders Forum, fund professionals and institutional investors discussed the future of the industry and zoomed in on the latest market evolutions and product developments. ‘Perhaps the market will revive as the result of a cosmetic deal between the US and China. But that might be short-lived.’
On October 15th, the Fund Insiders Forum (FIF) brought hundreds of (inter)national fund professionals and institutional investors together in Brussels. The second edition of the annual FIF networking event at Tour & Taxis welcomed nearly 200 professionals. After an informal lunch, Peter Van Maldegem (fund specialist at De Tijd/L’Echo) put the focus on the many challenges the industry faces at the moment. He covered the increasing operational costs as a result of the evermore complex regulations, as well as the search for ways to activate the nearly 280 billion Euro, which Belgians have parked in savings accounts today.
During his keynote, Marnix Arickx, chairman of the fund federation BEAMA, discussed the important societal and economic role of funds. ‘They help individual and institutional investors to save for the future, and they finance the economy.’ In his opinion, in the current climate of low interest rates, the role of asset management has never been more crucial and relevant than it is today.
‘Funds help individual and institutional investors to save for the future, and they finance the economy.’Marnix Arickx, chairman of the fund federation BEAMA
Arickx also discussed the dangers of extensive industry regulations. ‘When it gets too expensive to comply with those regulations, smaller players are under threat. And they are often the ones who innovate.’ But private investors are also at risk of being affected. ‘When it gets too expensive to serve smaller investors, the risk is that fund specialists will ban them from their service model.’
Analysis by Zulauf
The Swiss market analyst and asset manager Felix Zulauf, CEO and founder of Zulauf Asset Management, warned about a potential European currency and banking crisis in 2020. ‘This autumn, the stock markets might revive temporarily as the result of a cosmetic deal between the US and China. But that euphoria might be short-lived.’ Zulauf expects the bickering between the US and China to continue for at least another ten years. He doesn’t even exclude a physical war between the two.
According to Zulauf, the American economy will reach its all-time low next spring before starting to recover. On the other hand, after years of tremendous growth, China risks getting stuck in a consolidation phase in the next five years. ‘This will also have an impact on Europe, which has been highly dependent on the Chinese growth over recent decennia.’
Pictures: ©Marco Mertens