BY Richard Summerfield
Confidence among global asset management CEOs that revenue will grow in 2016 is currently at a high level (90 percent), according to PwC’s 19th Annual Global CEO Survey published this week.
The survey, which quizzed 189 asset management CEOs in 39 countries, also found that over the next three years this boom in confidence will rise to 95 percent.
However, a mere 30 percent of the CEOs said that they expected the global economy to improve over the next 12 months, a view that does not impact on the confidence they have in the ability of their company to achieve strong revenue growth this year and beyond.
Additionally, the survey reveals that most asset management CEOs believe ‘responsibility’ will play an important part in their success in five years’ time. Furthermore, 86 percent stated that they will prioritise long-term over short-term profitability. Sixty-nine percent also said that they will report on both financial and non-financial matters, while 68 percent anticipate corporate responsibility being a core venture.
“Asset management is going through a time of fundamental change," said Barry Benjamin, global asset and wealth management leader at PwC. “This is a time of great opportunity for growth, yet asset managers need to become more innovative, leverage technology, manage a wider range of risks and use digital communication intelligently if they are to remain competitive. In ten years’ time the sector is likely to be far bigger, but asset management companies will look very different from today.”
As well as concerns over the global economy, global asset management CEOs see over-regulation, geopolitical uncertainty, volatile exchange rates and interest rate rises as major threats to growth. In addition to these, the survey also reveals that 61 percent of asset management CEOs believe that shifting customer behaviours are a threat to growth; 60 percent view cyber security as an escalating issue; and 61 percent consider stock market volatility to be a constant concern.
Yet, despite the threats identified by CEOs, Mark Pugh, UK asset and wealth management leader at PwC, believes that asset managers are on the right side of a number of powerful trends. He said: “Retirement patterns across the globe, especially in the UK with recent Pension Freedom reforms, are leading to opportunities as well as creating a wider set of stakeholders.”