Asset managers making headway in alternative lending

Euro wealthAmundi, International Capital Group and Man Group are especially active in the alternative lending space in Europe, a report by Moody’s, a ratings agency, says.

Moody’s identifies alternative lending and retirement as distinct areas of business activity that offer substantial growth opportunities for asset managers in Europe.

In the lending market, asset managers like Amundi are filling the corporate funding gap left by reduced bank lending and the activity is helping European asset managers to diversify earnings and to increase product sophistication, says Moody’s.

Meanwhile, in the retirement market, Aberdeen, Fidelity and Schroders are well positioned to take advantage of the shift toward defined contribution (DC) retirement plans.

In its report – called Opportunities to grow in retirement, alternative lending, but regulation, competition pose challenges – Moody’s says that as these opportunities emerge, it has become a priority for asset managers to build user-friendly investment solutions that meet individual retail investors' retirement needs.

“Larger managers with products that have long and successful track records are in the best position to capture market share in this space early on," Moody's analysts say, and they note that Fidelity International Limited recently developed a platform called Retirement Services that provides customised retirement advice, products and services to retail and DC investors.

Similarly, Aberdeen has expanded its product range by enhancing solution-type products. Through the Scottish Widows Investment Partnership acquisition, Aberdeen gained additional expertise in customised solutions, with products ranging from traditional to alternative asset classes. In 2014, Schroders launched funds to meet demand from new retirees, and other funds targeting the DC pre-retirement market.

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