In the Investment Quorum piece Taking the P? Sending up ‘Price’ in Fund Selection Jon ‘JB’ Beckett discusses the 200 pages that make up the FCA Interim Market Study Report (MS15/2.2).
Questions as to the effectiveness of investment consulting; selecting active managers and negotiating costs have arisen. Buried deep in its report, in chapter 8 (from page 180), the FCA critiques the Multi-P (‘X-P’) approach used by many fund rating agencies and investment consultants. Why do fund buyers, consultants and agencies use a X-P approach and how does embedding Price into that process impact the findings of the FCA?
To read the full piece: Taking the P? Sending up ‘Price’ in Fund Selection
In the Citywire piece ‘Meerdter: how to strike a balance between art & science in selection‘ Roland Meerdter reveals how asset allocators can avoid wasted man hours on the hunt for top managers. This is part two of a two part series. To see part one: Time-saving tactics: how fund selectors can avoid wasted work.
Roland Meerdter writes: “The greatest threat to the future role of professional fund investors is not robots or regulators; it is information overload. There are tens of thousands of unique funds available for investment…”
In the Citywire piece ‘Time-saving tactics: how fund selectors can avoid wasted work’ Roland Meerdter reveals how asset allocators can avoid wasted man hours on the hunt for top managers. This is part one of a two part series. To see part two: Meerdter: how to strike a balance between art & science in selection.
Roland Meerdter writes: “Professional fund investors are spending too much time gathering and organising basic due diligence information on funds and not enough on analysis and decision-making. The problem is that the job is becoming more demanding in all the wrong ways…”
Take a look at APFI fears total return bias in UK Equity Income revamp in Portfolio Advisor. Our UK Lead Jon Beckett comments on UK equity income funds.
A shift in focus in UK equity income funds from yield to total return is an ‘annoying distraction’ for fund pickers, as well as a compliance burden, according to the Association of Professional Fund Investors (APFI).
‘In talking to fund managers, many have found the yield objective too hard to achieve in the current environment without overly concentrating their portfolios,’ said APFI lead Jon Beckett.
In the Investment Europe Article: ‘Avoid short-termism on property, urges APFI’ our UK lead Jon ‘JB’ Beckett addresses the recent volatility in the property funds market since the Brexit vote. He is quoted in the article:
In the Investment Europe Article: ‘Time for Tech’ themes from the APFI Nordic Summit (digitalization, automation and standardization) appear in full force with thoughts from our UK research lead Jon Beckett on page two.
“Digitalisation is already upon us, the question is whether fund research becomes obsolete due to big data or whether it morphs into a cyborg-like symbiosis through the use of next generation fintech tools.”
“Actually, I worry for the new generation of fund analysts for they are the ones sold on the profession yet facing long-term obsoletion. Veteran fund selectors can afford to be more short-termist and have enough experience to drift into associated roles like fund governance, wealth management, fund distribution, and so on.”
APFI was mentioned in the Ignites article Fund selectors draft manager questionnaire.
A group of European fund selectors are working on a standardised due diligence questionnaire aimed at facilitating the manager selection process. The Association of Professional Fund Investors, a trade body representing fund selectors across Europe, is drafting the industry-standard template with the aim of publishing a white paper on the topic in the near future.
The project comes in response to calls from fund selectors for greater uniformity with regard to the initial information supplied to them by fund managers at the beginning of the selection process.
Mussie Kidane, the top fund selector at Swiss bank Pictet and one of the four founding members of the APFI, says that when fund selectors become interested in a fund, they send a request to the manager for some basic information.
“The [APFI’s] idea is to have a sort of industry standard [in terms of] the information that is disclosed, instead of having to ask all sorts of questions [to different fund managers].”
Jon Beckett, UK research lead at the APFI, adds that a standardised due diligence document exists in other sectors, such as the hedge fund and private equity industries.
In the Investment Europe Article: ‘Testing fund selector prisoners on game theory’ Jon Beckett discusses the risks of choosing active managers.
“On empirical evidence alone, sales flows are telling us that the consensus already believes traditional alpha is a ‘zero sum game’ but also that ‘SmartBETA’ and portable alpha – through absolute return funds – may have potential.
However, what if we are looking at the active-passive choice all wrong, what if we are looking in the wrong places?”
In the Investment Europe Article: ‘APFI responds to UK IA ‘cost and charges’ proposals’ the APFI UK research lead Jon Beckett is quoted: “We agree with some of the high level principles set down in the IA paper. However this question cannot only be considered in the UK context and we believe the interests of fund investors – globally – need to be protected as part of any consultation.”
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has released a discussion paper on share classes of Ucits. The contents, as described by ESMA: “In this discussion paper, ESMA sets out its views on what constitutes a share class, including how to distinguish share classes from compartments of Ucits. The paper goes on to provide possible approaches to the extent of differentiation between share classes that should be permitted.”
Click here to see the APFI response to questions posed by ESMA concerning this discussion paper.