I spent the better part of this week running around New York City meeting with friends and foes in the financial services community. There were a series of events that showcased a number of firms and their services as well as provided “unique insight” into the status of the investment management industry. Speakers at the events highlighted trends on both the investor and manager side of the equation fund management equation. Here are some of the topics and trends that these fine observers of the money management industry discussed:
- New fund launches are down
- Investors are looking for managers who can deliver alpha
- Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain are real and are here to stay
- Opportunity Zone funds are all the rage
- Cannabis is something that cannot be overlooked
- Managers are working closely with investors on product structuring
- There are too many service providers in the business
Not a lot of new things here. Most of these topics and trends are the same subjects that people have been discussing and talking about for the last couple of years. The big take away for me this week is that there are a lot of people providing services to the industry. While I am all for competition and free markets, there just seems to be an awful lot of people hawking their wares. Prices are coming down and people are nervous about meeting their quotas and bringing on new clients. I spoke with a handful of investors and managers who reported the same thing, they are inundated with request for meetings from lawyers, accountants, directors, administrators, prime brokers, bankers, and technology firms looking to sell them something that is cheaper, better and faster then what they are using now. This does not include human resource firms, insurance companies, payroll groups and of course headhunters. It seems a bit dangerous. There may just be too many cooks in the kitchen.
A bit of news from the IMDDA. There is still time to register for the CDDA exam. The window has been extended until March 31, 2019. To learn more about what the IMDDA is doing and to register to take the exam click here.
Things that drive me crazy
People are just plain rude. Ok, not all people, just the ones who think it is ok to use a speakerphone in a public space. These people are just obnoxious and frankly their lack of respect for the world at large shows through when they perform this really dreadful act. Recently, I experienced while on the tarmac waiting to take off. The call between a mother and her daughter covered the girl’s homework, after-school plans and recent grade on a math test. I and most of my fellow passengers seated nearby know all this because the mom deemed it necessary to use the speakerphone loud enough that we all could hear. Come on people we are better than this, aren’t we?