Staying active: how to regain
trust in active management

How do institutional investors view active asset management? How do they rate their managers’ ability to address their changing needs?

Those were among the questions we set out to explore when we commissioned Oxford Economics to survey 490 institutional investors globally in November and December 2018.

The case for active asset management always grows clearer towards the end of a market cycle. As volatility increases, gains are harder to come by, and the discomfort of riding a turbulent index can add to uncertainty about the future.

But while the majority of investors recognise the benefits of active management, many remain unconvinced that these benefits are worth their current cost – even as market conditions become more complex.

Our research explores why investors are sceptical. It also does something practical: by identifying where investors need support today, we show how asset managers can restore trust and make the case for active management. Below you can explore key takeaways from the research or you can download the full report.

Our results suggest that investors are also looking for asset managers to elevate the client experience in five areas in the years ahead:

  1. Offer innovative risk-management approaches to help investors navigate the challenging market environment
  2. Facilitate ESG investing in ways that support investors’ objectives and values
  3. Inform investors on alternatives by providing clarity and transparency
  4. Adopt technology to enhance client outcomes including emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI)
  5. Champion innovative fee models that align cost and performance

Ultimately, these are the building blocks for a more collaborative investor-manager relationship. This partnership translates into benefits on both sides.

Our analysis, detailed in the full report, shows that those investors who have greater confidence in their managers are also more likely to stick with their managers over the long term and more satisfied with fee structures.

Investors are aware that the risk environment is on the cusp of change. They also expect to be using portfolio strategies to manage emerging risks and capture new market opportunities.

Yet active managers cannot take for granted that they have an advantage. While they have the resources and expertise to restore investor trust, it is urgent that they hone and highlight their strengths, if they are to win client loyalty.



Study methodology

  • Allianz Global Investors commissioned Oxford Economics to conduct telephone surveys of 490 institutional investors, including insurers, public and private pension plans, sovereign wealth funds, family offices, foundations, endowments and banks, in 13 markets worldwide.
  • Oxford Economics selected respondents across markets and institution types that reflect our client base. Respondents represent total assets under management exceeding USD 15 trillion.
  • Respondents may include Allianz Global Investors clients, but clients were not specifically targeted so any such overlap would be coincidental.
  • The survey was fielded anonymously in November and December 2018. The 490 respondents were split as follows:

Region AuM
Europe 56%   USD 100 billion – USD 500 billion  17%
Asia Pacific 24%   USD 25 billion – USD 99.9 billion  16%
US 14%   USD 10 billion – USD 24.9 billion  10%
Middle East 6%   USD 5 billion – USD 9.9 billion  8%
      USD 1 billion – USD 4.9 billion  15%
      USD 500 million – USD 999 million  20%
      < USD 500 million   14%

Investing involves risk. The value of an investment and the income from it will fluctuate and investors may not get back the principal invested. Environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategies consider factors beyond traditional financial information to select securities or eliminate exposure which could result in relative investment performance deviating from other strategies or broad market benchmarks. Diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Past performance is not indicative of future performance. This is a marketing communication. It is for informational purposes only. This document does not constitute investment advice or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold any security and shall not be deemed an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any security.

The views and opinions expressed herein, which are subject to change without notice, are those of the issuer or its affiliated companies at the time of publication. Certain data used are derived from various sources believed to be reliable, but the accuracy or completeness of the data is not guaranteed and no liability is assumed for any direct or consequential losses arising from their use. The duplication, publication, extraction or transmission of the contents, irrespective of the form, is not permitted. This material has not been reviewed by any regulatory authorities. In mainland China, it is used only as supporting material to the offshore investment products offered by commercial banks under the Qualified Domestic Institutional Investors scheme pursuant to applicable rules and regulations.

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