Nuveen Wins Best Investment Industry Paper 2021
The investment industry must adapt as the environment around it changes. Priorities and challenges of the past are not the same today, and it has never been more important to understand the complex decisions that investors face. Backed by their research of 700 global investors and consultants, Nuveen’s winning paper uncovered insights into what investors are doing to support their people, to develop their investment portfolios and to surmount hurdles to achieve their fiduciary objectives.
The investment industry is changing, and the research presented here tackles some of the key themes behind its evolution. Firstly, people – the human factors influencing the investor experience such as virtual working and employee wellbeing. Secondly, portfolios – the ascent of multi-asset strategies and the movement of many into private markets. Finally, problem-solving – focusing on alternatives and ESG to understand how beliefs and barriers are driving investor actions.
A series of insights from the investment industry are presented, drawing from asset management, real estate, institutional investing and private equity. Topics covered range from societal change and diversity and inclusion to investor portfolio companies and the Wall Street-Main Street disconnect. Covid-19 impact is covered as well, the implications for private equity and portfolio companies, institutional investing’s resilience and the adoption of new ways of working.
Through a wealth management (WM) lens this piece discusses some of the drivers, opportunities, and risks currently shaping the financial services industry. Nine trends are expanded on, acknowledging throughout that WM firms are facing unprecedented pressure on revenues and margins. Using the Covid-19 experience as a catalyst for change, prime areas of focus are identified in sustainable investing, technological development, digital transformation and data-driven capabilities.
By reviewing the 500 largest asset managers this study provides data on assets under management and asset allocation, with graphical insights on regional and country breakdowns, asset class evolution, benchmark comparisons, client exposure and ESG. It then takes a deep dive on growth in assets managed by the top 20 managers, before covering passive management and finally a survey of manager insights on industry trends such as sustainable investing, technology, and big data.
This paper invites us to dream big, with scale becoming a vital ingredient for success in today’s environment. Structural convergence is foreseen in insurance amongst asset management, technology and portfolio construction, with firms that facilitate this process being in line to profit. Several important conclusions are arrived at thanks to this survey of more than 50 global CIOs, making it relevant not only to the insurance sector but to the investment industry as a whole.
Around the investment industry, digital assets are generating significant interest. This paper gives a useful introduction to digital assets and the crypto market before considering six models of opportunity out there for traditional financial institutions such as banks and fund managers to participate. Whilst the potential rewards could be significant, for balance a review of risk management including compliance, protocol, technology and regulatory risks is also recommended.
An essential element of the client experience is client communications, which over the years has been covered by static client reporting. Recent trends have been towards interactive client portals, but for many firms in the investment industry there have been blockers in making the shift away from the traditional towards the digital and interactive. Addressed in this paper are the current and future states of client communications, and recommendations to take forward.
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