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How digital communication can help you to get a better brand awareness and direct customer acquisition

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The question “If you’re not in front of the client, how do you make sure that you are even in the conversation?” has become essential for salespeople over the past two years. The answer is “digital communication”: creating and marketing high-quality content in digital formats are key to raising awareness of one’s brand, attracting new clients and retaining existing ones, even if face-to-face presence is not required. What smaller asset managers in particular need to look out for to make themselves heard in the crush of all those social media posts and webinars, Hagen Gerle explains in the following article for FondsTrends, the information platform of Hauck & Aufhäuser Fund Services PricewaterhouseCoopers Luxembourg and CURE Intelligence about current and future-oriented trends and topics in the fund business.

There really are still some new asset managers who think they can get a personal appointment with the investor’s board in these times,” a sales expert told me on the phone the other day. The complaint sounds familiar to salespeople: Some investment houses still hope to continue their old model, i.e.: participation in investment conferences and personal visits to investors and distribution partners all over the country. But those days are gone.

The alternative, which also seems to have arrived in asset management, is called digital communication. However, in order to be noticed in the throng of social media posts, videos, webinars and online conferences, smaller investment houses in particular need to pay attention to three points: Focusing on a target group, addressing this clientele with relevant content and using fewer but the right channels.

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Brexit update: Is the British financial industry alive and kicking?

Der Brexit und die Folgen des Nordirland-Protokolls können das Vereinte Königreich noch ganz schön teuer zu stehen kommen. Foto: Hagen Gerle

Covid-19 or not, Brexit or not: the British financial industry is not letting the EU exit, which happened almost a year ago, get it down. New stock exchange rules, sustainability obligations and more jobs in the financial sector are supposed to prove that the industry is alive and kicking. However, the announcements on the Thames have yet to be followed by deeds. And the dispute over the Northern Ireland protocol threatens to undo the painstakingly negotiated Brexit deal, explains Hagen Gerle in this guest article for FondsTrends, the platform of Hauck & Aufhäuser Fund Services S.A. with contributions on current and future-oriented topics in the fund world: Brexit-Update: Britische Finanzszene alive and kicking? (only available in German)

 

Interview with Norman Wirth, Managing Director of German broker association AfW, about the consequences of the German federal election

Norman Wirth, AfW

Germany has voted – but what does the result mean for the life insurance industry and pension provision as a whole? On behalf of our client Standard Life Versicherung, we interviewed Norman Wirth, Managing Director of the German broker association AfW in Berlin, about the results of the Bundestag election. We spoke to Mr Wirth about the possible consequences for state-subsidised old-age provision, the future of the “Riester” pension, the coming supervision of insurance brokers and a possible ban on commissions (interview in mp3 format on Standard Life’s German website).

Article about the future of UK as a financial centre post-Brexit on FondsTrends.lu

The UK government and the British financial industry are currently desperately looking for ways to keep the UK an attractive international financial centre post-Brexit. Indeed, since the EU referendum in June 2016, but especially in recent months, the financial industry on the island has lost a lot of staff, companies and assets. Asset management has been hit hardest, as Hagen Gerle explains in this article for FondsTrends, the information platform of Hauck & Aufhäuser Fund Services about current trends and topics in the fund business: Financial Centre UK Post-Brexit: Searching for A New Meaning (article available in German only).

Survey: The biggest challenges for foreign fund companies in Germany in 2021

Germany’s decentralised structure with its different financial centres, access to distribution partners, fund-related regulation and Working from Home (WfH) as well as specific requirements from clients are the biggest challenges for foreign fund companies in the German market. Compared to the respective home markets of the asset managers, regulation in Germany causes considerably more work. These are the main findings of the survey “What hurdles do foreign fund houses have to overcome in the German market?” – the second after 2020 – which was conducted by the specialised communications consultancy Gerle Financial Communications (GFC).

Representatives of 18 companies that work for or provide services to foreign fund houses, mainly in Sales, took part in the online survey in February and March of this year. Participating firms came from Europe (twelve firms), North and South America (five) and Asia (one firm). Eight of the participants (44%) have been present on the German market for more than five years, three (17%) between three and five and four (22%) between one and three years. Three companies (17%) have only become active on the German market in the past twelve months. Continue Reading

Asset Manager Survey 2021: What are the biggest hurdles for foreign asset managers coming to the German market?

What are the biggest hurdles for foreign investment companies in the German market? Is it specific requirements of institutional clients or complex German regulations? Switch to Work from Home or cautiously returning to the office? Or is it finding the right sales contacts or pushing ahead with digitisation? The following online survey – the second after 2020 – seeks answers to such central questions. It is aimed at foreign asset managers in Germany who have only been represented here for a few years or are still planning to enter the German speaking market.

The questionnaire consists of 12 questions, so answering shouldn’t take longer than 10 to 15 minutes. The (anonymous) results of the survey can be requested by all participants at the end of the survey with no further strings attached. The survey is open until mid of March 2021. To access the link to the survey (in English), please click here.

British financial sector post Brexit: hoping for equivalence – or move to the EU straight away?

The United Kingdom and the European Union want to sign a “Memorandum of Understanding” by the end of March, which should determine how the financial services industry will proceed after Brexit. While the UK hopes that its regulations will also be recognised as equivalent on the continent, a level playing field seems to be more important for the EU. Every day without an agreement drives more business, firms, and staff to Europe – and unsettles British investment managers increasingly.

Things are not looking good for the UK as an international financial hub. While the Brexit deal may have been an unexpected Christmas present for some Brits, for many it is turning into a national tragedy. Enervated hauliers, angry fishermen and ripped-off online shoppers from the United Kingdom (UK) may soon be joined by relocating employees in financial services firms. The sales manager of a London investment boutique put it succinctly in a phone call with me the other day: “Down the line, if you want to work in the EU, you need the local licence.” Ergo, his employer is intensively looking for a location on the European mainland.

Considerations, like those of this asset manager with its tens of billions in assets under management, are being made by more and more investment houses on the Thames that do not (yet) have a branch in the European Union (EU). The post-Brexit period is a grey area for many of them as long as there is no separate agreement between the UK and the EU. But that may be a long time coming. Continue Reading

The fish, the finances and the last act in the Brexit drama

The (for the time being) final curtain in the Brexit drama is rising these days, but it does not look like a good ending for the British financial and fund industry. Until recently, the biggest opportunity seemed to be “Fish for Finance“. But that is unlikely to happen. British financial firms are sitting on dry land if they do not have their own branch in the European Union by now (read the whole article as a PDF). Until the cancellation of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson last Friday, “Fish for Finance” – a possible trade between fishing rights for EU fishing boats in British waters on one hand and access for British financial products to the European Union on the other – looked quite promising. Haddock for funds or cod for derivatives, so to speak. Continue Reading

“Digital marketing is a big opportunity for managers of all sizes”

If the business world is united in one consequence of COVID-19, it is the conviction that digital transformation across all sectors and functions has been accelerated by the pandemic. This is especially true for the distribution teams of asset and wealth-managers, say Patrick Ide and Dorit Erzmoneit, Senior Partners for GrndWrX (formerly part of Nurture). They are counting some of the largest brands in the fund industry as well as several niche investment boutiques among their clients.

“Digital marketing’s job is to deliver leads for sales – an incredible opportunity for all sizes of asset managers!”, as the experts for digital engagement explain in an Interview with Gerle Financial Communications.. The importance of the increasing digital presence for investment companies has only recently been demonstrated once more by Universal-Investment’s acquisition of the digital sales and marketing platform CapInside.

Patrick and Dorit are convinced: The ongoing trend to more tailored and deeper digital engagement marketing will eventually rip up the classic sales approach of contacting and meeting clients, only to tell them something they already know. Read more about it in this interview on LinkedIn.