Active managers survival guide in a passive management jungle

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This is a very depressing time for active fund managers, as the attack of passive asset management is brutal, flanking them from both an aggressive media coverage and strong cash outflows. Who indeed could have predicted that John Bogle, yes John Bogle Vanguard’s founder, would become such a rock-star today! His pictures and quotes are just all over my tweeter feed. And it is not going away soon…

And cash inflows/outflows are just even more worrying for them. As more than 30% of US assets under management were passively managed at year end 2016, and a clear momentum for a continued increase in 2017 dawns, traditional asset managers can actually start to be scared, at least. With good reasons to !

However, the current never ending beating up of active management became that strong and mainstream, while the answer given by active managers that shaky, that we could rightfully wonder if this is not getting a bit too far. Well, of course I must confess that I am among the first ones to give them a friendly slug when I can, sorry about that, but I also consider that they might need a helping hand guiding them out of this. There are some limits to plain criticism and being more constructive is possible.

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The French client of roboadvisors aka the “five-legged sheep”.

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In French language “rechercher le mouton à cinq pattes” ( lit. “searching for the five-legged sheep” ) is an idiom meaning searching for something that probably does not exist.

I would like to tell that I actually found what I was looking for, the client of a French roboadvisor, but I still haven’t.

It has been two years since roboadvisors got in France. I work in financial advise and asset management and meet regularly their potential clients. I am, as far as I know, in their theoretical target, as well as many of my friends and relatives. I often attend conference on the subject and exchange with participants…

But no. Still nothing. Still no client met. Impossible to find one. Neither from Yomoni, Advize, FundShop, MarieQuantier, WeSave… No a single one*. Yomoni was claiming around 1.500 clients at year end 2016, which seems good, but those 1.500 people seem to never bump into me.

*(to be honest I finally met one after publishing this post).

Continue reading The French client of roboadvisors aka the “five-legged sheep”.