UK asset management firms are giving their fund managers greater scope to run portfolios on an indiv...
UK asset management firms are giving their fund managers greater scope to run portfolios on an individual basis, according to research by recruitment firm Falcon Executive.
Of the UK firms that it polled, 30% said that they actively assisted fund managers to implement their own methods, up on 11% from the previous year.
At the same time those questions reported a range of problems arising from lack of expertise across equity desks as well as in major business functions.
Some 32% of those questioned said they had problems with UK equity stock selection. A further 32% also had problems with compliance. Some 29% experienced problems with performance measurement and 29% had difficulty with segregated account management and client services. For European stock selection the figure was 21%, as it was for Japanese stock selection and mainland European marketing.
Falcon discovered that while headhunting activity has risen from 58% to 64% in the past 12 months, staff turnover was down from 12% to 10%. At the same time it concluded that staffing and skill shortages among UK asset management firms are causing less disruption than in previous years.
The People Side of Asset Management in Europe report, polled 28 organisations in the UK and 10 in mainland Europe, and found that UK asset management firms have continued to cut back in recruitment, maintaining a trend which began in 1998/99. It found that the statistics on new recruitment almost exactly mirrored last year's, with 19% of UK firms planning no new recruitment and 39% planning to focus on improving quality not numbers. It reported that 42% intended to increase professional staff, equalling the 1998/99 figures, but still well down from 77% in 1998/97.
Graduate recruitment remained steady at 39%. The report also found that 36% of UK firms had made one-off recruitments from other market sectors. This continuing slowdown on recruitment was matched by a fall off in the number of companies reporting adverse effects from skills and staffing shortages.
Only 14% reported skills and staffing shortages were lowering effectiveness of managing new or existing accounts, down from 23% on the previous year. Some 29% felt it was inhibiting breaking new markets, down from 37% in 1998/99, and 30% said it inhibited the development and launch of new products, 1% down on the previous year.
The continued low level of recruitment has brought an increase in on-the-job development, up from 60% the previous year to 71%.
The report also warned that UK fund managers are under threat from Continental firms using more advanced techniques.
"UK fund managers are being left behind by their mainland European counterparts in the techniques they use," said Philip Nash, chief executive of Falcon. "UK firms are changing more slowly, seem set on consolidation and are more concerned with good housekeeping and keeping costs down."
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