Asset Managers Cut Back to Maintain Revenue Growth

Downward pressure on fees is leading to cost cutting at asset managers, a survey has found.

Almost half of asset management bosses plan to cut costs in 2015 as revenue streams within the industry continue to come under pressure, according to a survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

Of 155 asset management CEOs surveyed by the firm, 46% said they aimed to cut costs and 28% said they were looking to outsource some functions to save money.

Active managers are under pressure to cut fees to compete with low-cost exchange-traded funds and passive products, while the insourcing trend among asset owners is also challenging product providers to justify their charges.

Respondents also highlighted technology as cost saving tool, with 88% reporting that digital technology was mainly used to improve operational efficiency.

Mark Pugh, UK asset management leader at PwC, said such technologies would be “mission-critical” for successful consumer engagement, as well as “data-mining for information on existing and potential clients, operational efficiency, and regulatory and tax reporting.”

Despite cost pressures, 88% of CEOs said they were confident of revenue growth this year, and 95% were bullish about growth over the next three years.

The executives were also asked about diversity in the workplace: 30% said they had no specific strategy to promote diversity, but 13% said plans were in place to adopt one.

“CEOs who do have such strategies in place are more likely than those who don’t to hire in different markets, industries and demographic segments, use different recruitment channels, search for a wider range of skills, and equip employees with new skills,” PwC’s report stated.

Related Content: JP Morgan Sells Half of Private Equity Business & European Deflation to Hit Asset Managers’ Bottom Line