The Latest Headlines From Across The Wealth & Asset Management Sector - May

2023-06-08 |  Prince Naruka & Natalija Reeves

Welcome to our latest newsletter, we'll be exploring the top headlines impacting the world of wealth and asset management.

We’ll be looking at what Lansdowne Partner’s acquisition of Crux Asset Management means for the senior leadership team, delving into the details of BlackRock’s updated hybrid working model, and addressing GAM’s reaction to shareholder discontent over the Lionheart takeover.

We’ll also be exploring the long-term efficacy of investing in the European luxury goods market and deep-diving into the potential pitfalls that lie ahead as established firms rush to adopt disruptive new technologies like AI.

Here are our top stories…

Lansdowne Partners acquires Crux AM; Richard Pease to retire

Lansdowne Partners is set to acquire Crux Asset Management in a deal of undisclosed value. In the announcement, Karen Zachary, CEO of Crux, expressed her confidence in the acquisition, stating that Lansdowne Partners provides an ideal environment for Crux and its clients due to their shared cultural alignment and similar investment approach. Following the completion of the transaction, Richard Pease, the founder of the boutique, will retire.

BlackRock wants employees back in the office for four days a week

BlackRock is calling its employees back to the office for four days a week from September, according to reports. Similar initiatives have been seen across the industry, with M&G recently communicating to managers they need to work in the office for at least three days a week. BlackRock’s move is intended to foster a ‘culture of collaboration’ and promote ‘career development,’ according to the company’s chief operating officer Rob Goldstein and head of human resources Caroline Heller. Employees will have the option to work one day a week from home and ‘seasonal flexibility’ to work remotely for two weeks of the year.

When consolidation can be a strategic blunder

In this revealing article, Ben Ashby, head of investments at Henderson Rowe, explores how adapting to innovation such as artificial intelligence can make or break a business. Artificial intelligence and other disruptors should be embraced, but not at the expense of focusing on client needs. Dealing with these shifts, many firms will fall victim to what American academic Clayton Christensen called ‘the innovator’s dilemma’: incumbency and complacency preventing them from proactively addressing the technological disruptions reshaping the industry.

To embrace the incoming technology firms can foster a culture of innovation, better empower employees to challenge the status quo and create strategic partnerships with other entities to tap into innovative ideas and approaches.

GAM urges shareholders to support Liontrust takeover at heated AGM

GAM has addressed the opposition that shareholders voiced during its annual general meeting over the Lionheart deal. Tackling concerns that the deal revoked certain shareholders’ rights, David Jacob, GAM’s chair and former interim CEO, said: ‘[It] is supported by the strong belief on the part of the board that these transactions are in the best interests of all our stakeholders.’ One condition of the deal is that GAM offloads its fund management business.

Lazard names new CEO

Lazard Ltd, which manages assets of $216bn, has named Peter Orszag as its new chief executive officer. The firm's outgoing CEO, Kenneth Jacobs, is to serve as executive chair, effective 1 October. Orszag joined Lazard as a managing director and vice chairman of investment banking in 2016, and has acted as its CEO of financial advisory since 2019. He has previously served as the director of the Office of Management and Budget in the Obama Administration.

Investment line: Can luxury stocks sparkle for another decade?

Chinese consumption and wealthy customers who are willing to spend despite a cost-of-living crisis will continue to benefit the European luxury goods industry, according to consultancy Bain. Some analysts are advising investors to exercise caution in a part of the market that has now recovered to pre-pandemic levels. Eleonora Dani, equity analyst at Shore Capital, argues that luxury stocks continue to benefit from still-high consumer spending in the US, despite fears of a slowdown in the world’s largest economy. The possibility of a recession, says Dani, could trigger valuations to correct themselves after a season of all-time highs.

Thanks for reading. If you’d like to discuss any issues relating to the newsletter that are specific to you or your company, do get in touch.

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