Asset managers are foreseeing a number of challenges to be overcome during the year ahead, largely relative to the implementation of new regulation. Respondents have noted the increasing cost of servicing which is contrasted with increasing pressure to reduce fees and improve transparency. The new requirements of RDR are fast approaching and there is an increased awareness that education about the role of risk assets in a portfolio needs to be revisited. Pressure to keep up with the change of pace across the industry and adapt to new business models is being recognised and respondents have noted that process efficiency in 2011 will be reviewed.
Despite some concerns, there continues to be an increasingly positive attitude amongst the buy-side, survey results also revealed that 80% of respondents are feeling very optimistic for 2011 in comparison to 2010. There is a sense of accomplishment amongst the buy-side over the last year, and expectations for 2011 are high. 70% of respondents are confident that technology is up to the challenge of meeting the changing business models within asset management and that the implementation processes will run smoothly.
As confidence grows, the buy-side is predicting significant growth in a number of markets. Expectation appears to be centred around Asia and Germany, whilst other respondents expect to see growth in the commodities and fixed income markets. 25% of respondents were unsure where we can expect to see significant growth, but feel that emerging markets will be one to watch in 2011.
David Berry, IPUG Exec & Cossiom Exec, notes "The key focus for the asset management industry this year is transparency. Buy-side investors in all markets are keen to know what they are being charged for. The more transparent you are with your costs items the more chances you have to get a mandate."
Richard Leach, Portfolio Director, Head of Asset Management Division, OsneyMedia, said, "The survey has produced some interesting findings and is a good indicator of some of the themes which will arise during the TSAM event. I look forward to the discussion of these and other issues in greater detail with the delegates and speakers at the conference."