February 4, 2019

Fund Manager Chat: 2019–Challenges for the Mutual Fund Industry–Jonathan Willcocks, M&G Investments

by Jake Moeller.

Recorded on: January 28, 2019

2018 was a torrid year for active fund groups which experienced poor performance and net outflows in aggregate. In this #FundManagerChat podcast, we chat with Jonathan “Joffy” Willcocks, Global Head of Distribution at M&G Investments.

Here, he outlines the key challenges and opportunities the mutual funds industry faces in 2019 and discusses some of the material trends and issues driving both investors’ and firms’ decision making.

These include, regulatory pressures, product and market trends, fund flow and fee pressures, market volatility as well as technology disruption and firm consolidation.

He also examines the potential future evolution of mutual fund providers, the importance of ESG and firm diversity and outlines why he is optimistic about the future.

Running Order

Run Time Topic
00:20 What were the main challenges to fund firms in 2018?
01:20 How are you dealing with regulatory challenges?
03:30 On product development and distribution
05:20 On fee pressures exerted by passive investments
07:00 On disruption and technology
11:00 On competition and consolidation
13:30 On ESG and firm diversity
17:00 What are some of the industry tailwinds? What excites you about the industry?


Jonathan Willcocks is chatting with Jake Moeller, Head of Lipper UK and Ireland Research at Refinitiv, in London on January 23, 2019.

About Jonathan Willcocks

Jonathan Willcocks, M&G Investments.

Jonathan Willcocks is Global Head of Distribution at M&G Investments. He joined the industry in 1986, beginning his career with Hambros Bank in the Investment Management Division.

Having moved into Investment Sales from Hambros, he joined Prolific as Regional Sales Manager in 1993 responsible for marketing mutual funds to intermediaries in East Anglia and West Midlands. Following the merger with Aberdeen in 1997, he became Investment Sales Director, having additional responsibility for clients in London and Switzerland.

He moved to US investment house MFS in 2001 as Sales Director, responsible for sales into UK and Scandinavia before joining M&G Investments in February 2005 where he is now Global Head of Distribution.

His current responsibilities include being an ExCo and board member, distribution strategy and overseeing all distribution channels globally.

Jonathan is a Fellow of the UK Chartered Securities Institute, and a Chartered Wealth Manager.


Lipper delivers data on more than 265,000 collective investments in 61 countries. Find out more.

This material is provided for as market commentary and for educational purposes only and does not constitute investment research or advice. Refinitiv cannot be held responsible for any direct or incidental loss resulting from applying any of the information provided in this publication or from any other source mentioned. Please consult with a qualified professional for financial advice. The author owns investments with this fund group.

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