We might disagree on what the top three themes in asset management were during 2020, but we’d probably agree that they each stemmed from the pandemic.
The search for income has taken a new turn, given the greater prospect of negative interest rates. ESG has begun to hinge more on the ‘social’ aspect, due partly to perceptions around how companies have behaved towards their staff, customers or society at large this year.
Investments in private-market assets have come into sharper focus. Not only have issues of liquidity and valuation reared up again, but demand for private investments from institutional investors does not seem to have abated. Indeed, if profound changes are afoot in society and in business, exposure to some of these changes at an early stage is desirable, rather than waiting for a theme to be packaged as an ETF. ‘Medicare’ is one example.
Our ‘Global Industry’ report attempts to capture some of the upheaval of 2020 and offer direction for 2021. This is done principally through our roundtables held in London, New York and Hong Kong. But in some senses, it’s still too early to map out the course ahead of us. Covid-19, as a virus, will hopefully be in the past when we publish this report again next year – but working out its lasting effect for investors will not be,
Nick Fitzpatrick, Group Editor, Funds Europe
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