Industry news

Wells Fargo Asset Management rebrands to Allspring Global Investments

27 July | Marketing

Wells Fargo Asset Management (WFAM) has been rebranded as Allspring Global Investments following its acquisition by GTCR and Reverence Capital Partners.

As part of the transition, industry veteran Joseph Sullivan has been named CEO of the Allspring, in addition to his previously announced role as executive chairman.

Sullivan will replace current WFAM CEO Nico Marais, who is set to exit upon closing of the transaction.

Marais will continue to serve Allspring as a senior advisor.

Commenting on the development, Sullivan said: “I am honoured and energised to have the opportunity to lead Allspring, as we enter a new era for the firm.

“In spending time with Nico and the organization over the past few months, I have been incredibly impressed by the depth of investment expertise and quality of our people and leadership.

“Our new name truly embodies a renewed corporate culture and commitment to continue to invest thoughtfully and partner with our clients to navigate the future.”

Sullivan, who has over 40 years of experience in the industry, was chairman and CEO of Legg Mason from 2012 until its acquisition by Franklin Templeton last year.

Prior to that, he served on the board of directors of Stifel Financial and as executive vice-president and head of fixed income capital markets for Stifel Nicolaus.

Early in his career, Sullivan worked at several prominent financial firms including Legg Mason Wood Walker, Dain Bosworth, and Piper Jaffray.

26 July | Products

AMP unveils new contemporary advice service model

Australian wealth manager AMP has introduced a new service model with its aligned advice network in a bid to transform its advice business.

The move comes as the firm looks to demerge its infrastructure and property units to create further value in the private markets business.

Through the new financial advice model, AMP aims to offer increased choice, flexibility, and transparency to advisers on how they partner with it.

It will support delivery of quality advice, enhance practice efficiency, and help advisers grow their businesses.

23 July | Regulation

Fidelity signs up to ‘fintech pledge’

Global investment firm Fidelity International has become the first asset manager to commit to the Fintech Pledge, an initiative supported by HM Treasury and Tech Nation. The pledge aims to provide clear guidelines for collaboration between financial institutions and tech start-ups to accelerate growth in the fintech sector.

Signatories to the pledge must commit to its five principles, the first of which is to have a dedicated page on their website explaining their onboarding process to tech firms. They are also required to provide a named contact in charge of this process, provide clear feedback and guidance, encourage good practice within the industry; and commit to implementing this process six months from signing the pledge.

Fidelity currently has a dedicated venture capital team that invests in fintechs called Fidelity International Strategic Ventures. It also has several existing fintech partnerships, including with compliance technology and data analytics firm SteelEye and digital investment platform Moonfare.

23 July | Distribution

Cazenove Capital expands regional presence with new hire and relocation

UK-based wealth management business Cazenove Capital has appointed James Burley as a portfolio director in Edinburgh.

James has over 14 years’ experience in strategic planning and investment management advice. He joins from Kleinwort Hambros in Edinburgh. His appointment, follows other strategic hires in the Midlands and North West as part of Cazenove Capital’s strategy to better service clients in those regions.
Bob Hair, wealth planning director and head of the Edinburgh office said he was ‘delighted’ to have James on board.

“Scotland is home to a vibrant and diverse group of individuals, families, entrepreneurs and businesses requiring wealth management support, who continue to seek out our investment insight and personalised approach to wealth management. Each of our clients has unique individual requirements, so working with people they trust and who share their long-term goals and visions is a common ambition.

“Our team has a strong track record of servicing clients in Edinburgh for almost three decades, and I’m delighted to welcome James as we continue to grow and attract top industry talent. We look forward to working closely with him and to drawing on his experience in our drive to preserve, grow and protect wealth for more individuals, entrepreneurs, business owners and families across Scotland.”

As part of this regional strategy, Cazenove Capital has also announced a move to a new office in Charlotte Square for the Edinburgh team. The office will be larger, more sustainable and will be set up to allow for more blended in-person and video meetings, to reflect the post-pandemic shift towards flexible working.

21 July | Digital

Prometeia and Fabrick launch digital wealth management solution

Italian fintech Fabrick, a firm focusing on Open Finance, and consulting, software, and research company Prometeia have launched Global Investment Portfolio, a digital wealth management solution.

The solution utilises artificial intelligence and open banking and was created through a strategic partnership between the two firms. Global Investment Portfolio is a wealth management platform that mergers an investor’s overall financial portfolio through the aggregate analysis of the bank accounts held by them across institutions.

In addition, the solution is claimed to be unique due to the artificial intelligence algorithms developed by Prometeia. The AI works by inferring and spotting information generation by asset management activities run by other banks without the need for direct access to all of an investor’s separate investment accounts.

Global Investment Portfolio is already integrated into Prometeia’s Digital Wealth Management Platform as a cloud service. It also uses Fabrick’s PSD2 Gateway in order to facilitate a multi-bank experience and viewing all information in a single touch point.

16 July | Regulation

FCA to ‘test powers to limit’ in scams

The UK’s financial watchdog the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has said it will be cracking down on bad firms and tackling “an epidemic” of online scams.

“We are going to test our powers to the limit,” said FCA chief executive Nikhil Rathi, who was speaking at the company’s online launch of its business plan.

“To act decisively – and to be clear about what we’re doing, why we’re doing it and where the limitations lie..”

Rathi said that he FCA will be spending £120m ($165m) over three years to improve its data strategy to tackle fraud better. He also announced an £11m digital marketing campaign targeted at younger consumers buying cryptocurrencies.

“Modernising our systems – including becoming one of the first regulators in the world to move to the cloud – will give us the platform to succeed. Not only enabling us to scale our operations but to share intelligence more easily within the FCA and with our partners across responsibilities and jurisdictions,” he said.

The government has faced calls to force companies to stop investment fraud facilitated through online advertising as part of its Online Safety bill. But it has rejected the idea, saying there would be a consultation on online advertising regulation later in the year.

The FCA’s focus on protecting vulnerable consumers could mean wealthy investors will find it harder to get compensation. There will be a review of compensation criteria used by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, Rathi said.

26 July | Strategy

HSBC Asset Management launches VC strategy

HSBC Asset Management (HSBC AM) has launched a new venture capital (VC) investment strategy aimed at funding companies that will participate in the transformation of financial services.

Its intention is to provide clients with exposure to B2B companies offering either software or financial services to enterprises or institutions. As a part of this, HSBC AM will participate in series A and B funding rounds of companies with business activity in Europe and Asia.

The VC strategy is aimed at institutions seeking to access innovative companies, including institutional asset allocators, family offices, private banks, and ultra-high net worth individuals.

26 July | Strategy

India’s Tarraki joins forces with alternative investing platform smallcase

India-based wealth management startup Tarraki has entered into a strategic partnership with alternate investment platform smallcase.

The partnership will see the companies offer long term equity portfolio to their users.

It will enable investors to invest in a ‘well-diversified basket of stocks’ selected via a multi cap and multi sector strategy.

They will have access to in-depth overview, factsheets, and exposure to a professionally researched portfolio, allowing investors to make informed decision.

Tarrakki founder Saumya Shah said: “This partnership with smallcase will help investors to intelligently invest in a diversified basket of stocks which will lower the risks present in investing in a single company or a stock.

“The smallcase integration makes equity investments for the investors simpler by extending the pool of investment options any user has.”

22 July | Strategy

Robeco strengthens ESG commitment by expanding Singapore team

International asset manager Robeco has announced plans to scale its business in Singapore and advance environmental, social and governance (ESG) capabilities in Asia. This includes expanding its range of sustainable strategies for investors and expanding its investment team in Singapore.

“We are delighted to bring our global expertise in sustainable investing to Asia, working closely with our clients and partners to navigate the increasingly exciting but complex field of ESG,” said Nayan Patel, chief executive officer of Robeco Singapore.

“Whether it is analysing ESG data, integrating climate change considerations or maximising shareholders’ value through active ownership, Robeco has deep knowledge to help investors in Asia meet their sustainable investing objectives. With local specialists to anchor on-the-ground initiatives, combined with our extensive global experience, we expect to capture even more growth opportunities in ESG and become a leader in sustainable investing in Singapore. Our Singapore expansion will also contribute to Robeco’s ambition to achieve net-zero emissions across all assets by 2050.”

19 July | Strategy

Amundi to tap Wealth Management Connect, ESG opportunities to grow Asian AUM

Amundi is reportedly looking to take advantage of Wealth Management Connect scheme and China’s move to attain carbon neutrality by 2060 to boost its assets under management (AUM) in Asia.

The French asset manager aims to grow its AUM by 70% to €500bn in the next four years, according to a report by South China Morning Post.

Amundi Asset Management chairman for Greater China Zhong Xiaofeng told the publication: “China’s market is so huge that it is impossible for any investment manager to miss it.

“The country’s opening up policies to attract foreign investors and its policies to promote environmental, social and governance (ESG) have given confidence to global asset managers to invest in the country.”

Xiaofeng also added that the Covid-19 pandemic has also accelerated the firm’s investment in China.