Research jointly conducted by KPMG and consultancy Create has found asset management firms are intent on greater use of outsourcing and are looking to mergers and acquisitions to build skills rather than scales of business.
The driver of these approaches is the need to ensure profitability in bad times as well as good.
Chief exectuvies have realised they need to put in place business models that can adapt with a change in fortune such as experienced in the past half decade of bull and bear markets.
The research is the result of interviews and other communication with chief executvies and chief investment managers representing 300 fund management firms across 29 countries with 25trn euros worth of funds under management.
The outsourcing trend is part of a strategy of drawing up alliances with third parties to boost productivity, the research report says.
Acquiring other businesses is being done to bring particular skills to firms, and is focused on smaller deals, partly because acquisition prices are high, partly because the last big wave of mergers has yet to result in improved profitability.
Cultural differences and lack of integration skills are hampering efforts to wring more profits out of bigger units, the report says.
The report's findings come at the same time a major merger has been announced between Isis Asset Management and Foreign & Colonial, to create the fourth biggest UK asset manager, with some £120bn of funds under management.
Synergy benefits have been identified in that deal that are forecast to result in boosted profits by 2006.IFAonline
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