The challenges facing the funds industry place an extra importance on the election of the next Efama president this year, says Nick Fitzpatrick

There may have been a time when leading Europe’s main fund association was more of a pleasant pastime. But that’s not the case now. Acting as Efama’s president is likely to be more of a second job – and a demanding one at that.

The work-shy, therefore, need not put themselves forward for the candidacy when Efama – the European Fund and Asset Management Association – elects a new president this year as Jean-Baptiste de Franssu’s two-year term finishes.

Those lacking the following attributes need also not apply: political dexterity; a long contacts list (or the ability to make one quickly); patience with Brussels but a homicidal drive to be heard; and, most of all, the ability to make senior people in asset management say “Yes”.

The two presidents who presided over Efama throughout the financial crisis and its aftermath – De Franssu, the chief executive of Invesco (Europe), and his predecessor Dr Mathias Bauer, CEO of Raiffeisen Capital Management – must have displayed at least some of these qualities when bolstering Efama’s governance structure and  sharpening its lobbying sword.

Governance was strengthened when Efama set up a president’s advisory council and a chief investment officers forum in 2009. More recently, under De Franssu, a lobbying success can arguably be claimed by getting the packaged retail investment products issue partly restored when Michel Barnier became the new internal markets commissioner and appeared to drop it. The issue is vital for creating a level playing field between investment management products and those offered by other providers of savings and investments vehicles.

Under De Franssu and Bauer, Efama has tightened its strategic focus and made its political presence felt. Although this was all supported by other executives and a secretariat, including director-general Peter de Proft and vice president Claude Kremer, the election of an effective new president and leader is more vital than ever to keep this momentum.

Talent pool
The pool of natural candidates from a very senior status in the industry is not huge, but there are enough credible potential presidents to occupy the role for a good decade or more yet. What follows is by no means an exhaustive list, but a roster of candidates could potentially include:

Juan Alcaraz, CEO, Santander Asset Management
Understands the need for action to solve Europe’s pensions problem and has actively supported Efama’s call for action over long-term savings

Dominique Carrel-Billiard, CEO, Axa Investment Managers
The Harvard MBA has vital experience to draw on, not least from twelve years at McKinsey & Co, where he led the European retail savings and life insurance practice

Elizabeth Corley, CEO, Allianz Global Investors (Europe)
A sharp-minded professional crime novelist, Corley has the articulation to make Efama’s views crystal clear. But already serves as chair of the Forum of European Asset Managers

Alain Dromer, CEO, Aviva Investors
Experienced at building skilled teams in global organisations, including HSBC. However, he has commitments as investment committee chairman of the Association of British Insurers

Joachim Faber, CEO, Allianz Global Investors
If the man who made Germany’s Allianz Global Investors the pan-European and global active manager it is today can’t make Efama’s influence felt in Brussels, then no one can. Due to retire soon, the role is waiting!

Claude Kremer, partner, Arendt & Medernach
Currently Efama’s vice president, his legal skills could be important as Efama deals with the legislative workload. A senior Luxembourg figure, but status as a service provider could be controversial

Roderick Munsters, CEO, Robeco
As a member of the Capital Markets Committee of the Netherlands financial regulator, and a former board member at APG, his experience of regulation and of the client side could be useful

Funds Europe understands that Faber and Carrell-Billiard do not plan to put themselves forward, but this list is not exhaustive. Allan Pollack, CEO, Nordea Savings & Asset Management, and Massimo Tosato, executive vice chairman at Schroders, are just two more people who have the talent to wear the role with comfort.

The Efama general assembly gathers on 16 June to elect its next president. National associations, which along with corporate members make up Efama’s membership, will be starting to think now about their next leader.

©2011 funds europe



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