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November 19, 2014

Lipper Expert Forum 2014: What We Learnt About the European Funds Management Industry

by Jake Moeller.

Lipper’s ninth Annual Lipper Expert Forum was held at the Thomson Reuters Auditorium at Canary Wharf, London on November 12, 2014. It brought together some of the industry’s top leaders to discuss key issues in the world of active and passive funds management and consider the market outlook for 2015.

This year the event was held in conjunction with the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investment, one of the premier professional bodies in the U.K. A full house of delegates ensured that there was a high degree of anticipation as proceedings got underway and this year for the first time, the event was recorded live via webcast. For those of you who couldn’t attend the event in person; the recording is available for viewing via this link. A Twitter feed went live during the event with considerable comment and photos being posted via #LipperForum14.

Lipper's Jake Moeller, opens proceedings. CISI.

Lipper’s Jake Moeller, opens proceedings. CISI.

The Forum was broken into four sessions:

Lipper’s Detlef Glow outlined key patterns of flows into mutual funds emphasising the growth of flows into multi-asset funds. He also engaged the audience with the contention of the “myth of ETF success” which used Lipper flow analysis to show that ETF flows as a percentage of total mutual fund flows have not grown as much as the market perceives. His presentation coincides with his recent Monday Morning Memo which outlines this thesis in considerable detail.

Lipper's Detlef Glow delievers hard facts on fund distribution. CISI.

Detlef Glow delievers hard facts on fund distribution. CISI.

The “Art and Science of Fund Selection” session followed with seasoned fund selectors, Richard Philbin, CIO and co-founder of Harwood Multi-Manager and Tony Yousefian, consultant to Albemarle Street Partners, a specialist fund selection and investment and advisory firm. They outlined what discretionary managers look for before they invest into a mutual fund. This included a discussion on the importance of effective screening with tools such as Lipper for Investment Management and the importance of more subjective qualitative factors. This session was chaired by well known Incisive Media Chief Editor and ex-Reuters journalist, Lawrence Gosling.

(L-R) Richard Philbin, Lawrence Gosling and Tony Yousefian discuss fund selection. CISI.

(L-R) Richard Philbin, Lawrence Gosling and Tony Yousefian discuss fund selection. CISI.

Detlef Glow then chaired an engaging session on the ETF market with Hector McNeil – Co-CEO, Boost ETP, Simon Klein – Head of ETPs & Mandates, Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management and Michael John Lytle – Chief Development Officer, Source. A key part of the discussion revolved around the contentious definitions of “smart beta” in the market and the importance of recognising price within the outcome of potential market returns.

(L-R) Detlef Glow, MJ Lytle, Simon Klein and Hector McNeil discuss ETFs. CISI.

(L-R) Detlef Glow, MJ Lytle, Simon Klein and Hector McNeil discuss ETFs. CISI.

Finally, Jake Moeller chaired a session on the macro events events of 2014 and their potential impact for the markets in 2015 with Keith Wade – Chief Economist, Schroders, Andrew Parry – CEO, Hermes Sourcecap and Neil Dwane – European CIO,  Allianz Global Investors. The panel was reasonably sanguine but conceded that managers taking on more risk in a post-QE world with the ongoing search for yield which has inadvertently built in illiquidity to portfolios. The discussion on interest rates concluded that despite positive growth signals, hikes are still some way off.

(L-R) Jake Moeller, Andrew Parry, Neil Dwane and Keith Wade discuss the global economic outlook for 2015. CISI.

(L-R) Jake Moeller, Andrew Parry, Neil Dwane and Keith Wade discuss the global economic outlook for 2015. CISI.

All of the sessions experienced a high level of audience engagement with some lively questions and debate contributing to the success of the event. The three hours of Continuing Professional Development allocated to the event by the CISI was well earned.

It is a tribute to the reputation of Lipper and Thomson Reuters that we are able to gather such an acclaimed list of speakers to this annual event. Our considerable gratitude is extended to all the panellists who generously provided their time, the CISI who contributed staff and resources and all of the guests whose contributions made the event so interesting.

Next year is the tenth anniversary of the event and we are hoping to build even further upon this year’s resounding success and look forward to welcoming you then.

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